Israel has ordered bomb shelters prepared on the Golan Heights and the government is bracing for an Iranian response to the latest attack on Iran’s forces in Syria.
The Israeli military said that, upon identifying “irregular activity” by Iranian forces in Syria, it instructed civic authorities on the Golan Heights to ready bomb shelters, deployed new defenses and mobilized some reservist forces.
Israel’s top general, Gadi Eizenkott, canceled a scheduled appearance at an annual security conference and was conferring with Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other national security chiefs, officials said.
Trump’s hard tack against the nuclear deal, while welcomed by Israel, has stirred fears of a possible regional flare-up.
Within two hours of the White House announcement, Syrian state news agency SANA reported explosions in Kisweh, south of Damascus. Syrian air defenses fired at two Israeli missiles, destroying both, SANA said.
SANA is full of it. The Israelis targeted Iranian missiles aimed at Israel.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in Kisweh, killing nine people. The group, which closely monitors the Syria war through a network of activists on the ground, said it was not clear whether those killed were Revolutionary Guard members or members of a pro-Iranian militia. The report could not be independently confirmed.
An official with the Iran-led regional alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad said the strike targeted a Syrian army position but killed a Syrian man and his wife who happened to be passing by in their car. He said there were jets in the sky but it was likely the position was targeted by surface-to-surface missiles from the Golan Heights.
This is certainly worrying:
Israel’s military, however, said Tuesday its forces were on high alert near its border with Syria after spotting Iranian activity and was urging civilians in the Golan Heights near Syria to prepare bomb shelters.
Later, the Israeli military said in a statement it had called up some reservists but did not elaborate.
The military directive Tuesday came “following the identification of irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria.” It said defense systems have been deployed.
The military said it is prepared for “various scenarios” and warned “any aggression against Israel will be met with a severe response.”
Will Iran prove Trump right and strike Israel? These are not pin pricks the Israelis are inflicting on Iran. They have destroyed bases, bombed dozens of missile sites, and killed a lot of Iranians. How much longer can Iran forgo retaliation?
Any retaliation by Iran will be met with an attack of ten-fold intensity from Israel. When Hamas fires a couple of homemade rockets into Israel, the IDF hits back disproportionately hard. Iran would be unable to significantly damage Israel’s ability to fight, but a full-scale IDF attack on Iranian targets in Syria would cripple the Iranian effort to protect Syria tyrant Bashar Assad. Israel might even hit Revolutionary Guard targets in Iran.
With the Iranian economy a basket case, and strikes and riots roiling the country, the mullahs can ill afford another costly, unpopular military adventure. As much as they want to, the Iranians may choose not to retaliate against Israel for these targeted attacks.