Israel announced on Saturday that an IAF airstrike prevented an attack by Iranian drones armed with explosives launched from inside Syria.
BREAKING: We just prevented a pending, large-scale attack of multiple killer drones on Israel by striking Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite Militia targets in Syria.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 24, 2019
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the Iranian backed Al Quds force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), working with allied Shiite militias were planning to send a number of explosives-laden attack drones into Israel. The IDF monitored the situation for several months and on Thursday prevented Iran from making an “advanced attempt” to execute the attack plan. Iran tried again late Saturday to carry out the same attack.
“We were able to thwart this attack with fighter jets,” Conricus said, saying the attack was believed to be “very imminent.”
“The threat was significant and these killer drones were capable of striking targets with significant capacity,” he said. “The threat was significant and these killer drones were capable of striking targets with significant capacity.”
The IDF spokesman noted that Iranian forces had launched rockets at Israel from Syria three times during 2018 but the use of “kamikaze” drones set to explode on their targets was a new and “different tactic”.
In a major operational effort, we have thwarted an attack against Israel by the Iranian Quds Force & Shi’ite militias. I reiterate: 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.”
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) August 24, 2019
Syrian state media said Syrian air defenses intercepted “hostile targets” over Damascus, the capital, Saturday night. The Syrian army said in a statement that “the majority of the Israeli missiles were destroyed before reaching their targets.” Hezbollah claimed that two IDF drones crashed near Beirut, Lebanon.
It is unusual for Israel to comment on its activities outside Israel so soon after the attack. Israel has admitted to carrying out hundreds of strikes against Iranian military targets in Syria and there are allegations that Israel has carried out similar airstrikes in Iraq.