In an uncharacteristic revelation about their operations outside of Israel, the IDF announced on Tuesday that they conducted airstrikes against 202 Iranian military targets in Syria since 2017.
Most of the targets were shipments of weapons destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon. The targets were allegedly connected to Iran’s elite Al-Quds force and included air force components, support infrastructure and weapons storage and manufacturing facilities. The IDF reported using some 800 bombs and missiles to prevent an Iranian presence in Syria from coming within 50 miles of the border with Israel.
At the media conference, intended as an end-of-the Jewish year round-up, the IDF officials reported on a wide-range of subjects.
They warned that the decision by the U.S. to cut off aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (URWA) could lead to aggression from the Palestinians due to a worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza. Tensions are currently high on Israel’s southern border as the Hamas-led March of Return riots continue. Rioters supported by Hamas have launched thousands of aerial incendiary devices into Israel, burning thousands of acres of farmland and nature reserves. Last month, Hamas fired almost 200 projectiles at civilian targets in southern Israel.
The IDF also reported that they played a significant role in the successful effort against the Islamic State (ISIS). ISIS, operating as part of the rebels currently fighting a civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been almost entirely defeated in Syria. Assad’s military, supported by a significant Russian military presence in Syria, now controls 70 percent of the southwest region
The IDF attacks in Syria may be ongoing. Syria’s official state news agency reported on Tuesday night that Israel attacked targets in the southern Syrian city of Hama, claiming the Israeli missiles were shot down by Syria’s air defenses. The site is identified in foreign media as a scientific research facility. Syria has accused Israel of attacking it three other times in the past.
On Saturday night, large explosions were observed at the Mazzeh air-base outside of Damascus. Though Israel was initially blamed, the Syrian government later amended their assessment of the cause, blaming it on an electrical short-circuit.
On Thursday, satellite images were published in the media showing indicating that Iran is building a new surface-to-surface missile factory in Syria.
The Israeli government has vowed to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria along the northern border. Iran has long been suspected of attempting to create a land bridge from its territory to the Mediterranean coast. Toward this end, Iran provides massive military support to Assad and to its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah in Lebanon.