Israeli soldiers look out towards Syria from an observation point in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

After Rare Tit-for-tat Daytime Exchange, Israel Launches Major Overnight Strikes In Syria

Just days after taking the reins of the Israel Defense Forces, newly-minted Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi made an immediate mark Sunday when the army launched a rare day-time aerial attack targeting Iranian assets located at Damascus International Airport and nearby weapons storage facilities at al-Kiswah. In response, Iranian troops took the equally rare step of firing a missile towards the popular Mount Hermon ski resort in the Israeli Golan Heights, which while intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system nevertheless sparked a major overnight conflagration. The IDF, in turn, destroyed numerous Iranian and Syrian sites including air defense batteries and, most notably, stations manned by members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force. “The Iranian attack on Israeli territory is yet another clear proof of…the danger [Tehran] poses to the State of Israel and regional stability,” the IDF wrote in a statement. For his part, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz took to the airwaves Monday morning, declaring that Jerusalem’s policy vis-a-vis the Islamic Republic’s attempt to entrench itself across the northern border has changed and is intensifying. “This is an open confrontation with Iran,” he asserted, “when we need to step it up, we’ll step it up.” The IDF has struck thousands of targets in Syria over the past few years, with politicians recently abandoning the longstanding Israeli policy of neither confirming nor denying involvement.

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