FRI 5 - 6 - 2020
Date: Aug 26, 2019
Source: The Daily Star
Israel: Syria strike sends ‘no immunity’ message to Iran
Pompeo voices support for Israel after Israeli air strikes in Syria
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM/DAMASCUS: Israel said Sunday an airstrike against an arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Syria that it accused of planning “killer drone attacks” showed Tehran that its forces were vulnerable anywhere. A senior Revolutionary Guard commander denied that Iranian targets had been hit late Saturday and said its military “advisory centers have not been harmed,” the semiofficial ILNA news agency reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that two Hezbollah members and one Iranian were killed in the Israeli attack.

Hezbollah’s leader Hasan Nasrallah said two Lebanese nationals were killed in the strike, which he said targeted Hezbollah positions.

The Israeli military said its aircraft struck “Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite militias which were preparing to advance attack plans targeting sites in Israel from within Syria over the last number of days.”

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesperson, told reporters “a number of attack drones,” each armed with several kilograms of explosives, were to have been launched simultaneously at targets in northern Israel Thursday but the plan was thwarted.

He did not disclose what measures Israel took that day. He described the “killer drones” - designed to slam into targets - as highly accurate. The military released grainy black-and-white surveillance footage purporting to show the Iranian operatives Thursday near the drones’ launching site.

Conricus said the drones, accompanied by the Iranian operatives, had arrived at Damascus airport from Iran several weeks ago and were taken to a Quds-controlled compound in a village southeast of the city.

Israel carried out Saturday’s attack, Conricus said, after learning that another attempt to launch drones was imminent.

Writing on Twitter after Saturday’s Israeli strike, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our forces operate in every sector against the Iranian aggression. If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first.”

Speaking Sunday on the Syrian front, Netanyahu added: “Any country that allows its territory to be used for attacks against Israel will face the consequences, and I repeat, the country will face the consequences.”

Syrian state media said Syrian air defenses intercepted “hostile targets” over Damascus, the capital, Saturday night. Witnesses in Damascus said they heard and saw explosions in the sky.

The Syrian army said in a statement that “the majority of the Israeli missiles were destroyed before reaching their targets.”

Conricus, however, said the impact of the Israeli attack was “significant.” Israeli forces in the north, he said, were now on “elevated alert” for any retaliation.

On the Israeli YNet news website, military affairs commentator Ron Ben-Yishai described the alleged Iranian killer drone attack plans as revenge by Tehran for the purported Israeli drone strikes in Iraq, noting that the two enemies were using similar weapons.

Pompeo voices support for Israel after Israeli air strikes in Syria

WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israeli airstrikes in Syria, expressed Washington's support for Israel's right to defend itself from the threat posed by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the State Department said Sunday.

"The secretary and the prime minister discussed how Iran is leveraging its foothold in Syria to threaten Israel and its neighbors," the State Department said in a statement.

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