After Rocket Fire, Israel Conducts Military Operation in Syria
In response to four rockets fired Tuesday from Syria toward the Israeli Golan Heights – all of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system – the Israel Defense Forces launched a cross-border military operation targeting Syrian and Iranian infrastructure. According to the IDF, fighter jets struck dozens of Syrian army assets as well as those belonging to Iran’s Quds Force, an elite branch of the Revolutionary Guard Corps responsible for conducting Tehran’s subversive activities abroad. Foreign Minister Israel Katz had blamed the Islamic Republic for launching the rockets and vowed that the Jewish state would “continue to act according to its policy…[which] was and remains to prevent Iran from establishing itself in the area.” To this end, Jerusalem has over the past two years conducted hundreds, if not thousands, of attacks to destroy Iranian military sites in Syria, and to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry to Hizbullah in Lebanon. Katz also contended that while the threat Tehran posed to Israel was still significant, the changing geopolitical landscape has weakened Israel’s arch-foe. “If Iran had the option of pushing a button and going several years back, without US sanctions and the aggressive Israeli activity countering its attempts, it would have pushed that button,” he said. The Iranian regime is currently grappling with nationwide protests precipitated by a hike in gasoline prices that quickly morphed into calls for the government’s ouster. According to Amnesty International, an ensuing crackdown has resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people. Analysts believe that the Islamic Republic could seek to deflect attention away from the internal unrest by targeting Israel in a similar fashion to September’s Iran-attributed missile and drone attacks on Saudi oil installations.