Twice in 24 Hours: Israel Reportedly Strikes Targets in Syria
The Israel Defense Forces reportedly struck targets in Syria on two occasions over the weekend. On Friday, Syrian media reported explosions at Al-Kiswah, where satellite imagery suggests that Tehran and its Lebanon-based proxy Hizbullah have constructed weapons-storage facilities. Intelligence officials also believe that Iran has set up a permanent military base near the site, which Jerusalem has been accused of targeting numerous times. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the IDF on Saturday fired at least three missiles at a regime army brigade in Quneitra Province, which borders the Jewish state. Over the last two-plus years, Israel has conducted hundreds of strikes in Syria, primarily with a view toward preventing the Islamic Republic from securing a military foothold less than 100 kilometers from the frontier. However, the frequency of reported Israeli attacks has in recent months diminished significantly following the deployment to Syria of sophisticated Russian-made S-300 anti-missile defense batteries. The latest flare-up comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran, which many believe were manifested last week in dual attacks – allegedly conducted by Iranian proxies – on Saudi oil and shipping assets.