The new air defense system reportedly destroyed in Saturday’s airstrike was “a new move by the Iranians in Syria” to protect their military interests.
By World Israel News Staff
Israeli forces intercepted and destroyed an Iranian air defense system in transit in northern Syria over the weekend, according to a report by Israeli television.
An airstrike was reported Saturday morning in the northwestern Syrian town of Al-Hamidiyah, south of the port city of Tartus and just north of the Lebanese border.
Syria’s state controlled media outlet SANA said the Israeli air force was responsible for the strike, and claimed it destroyed poultry farms, injuring two civilians.
But according to a report by Channel 12, the airstrike targeted an Iranian air defense system, which given its proximity to the port of Tartus, had recently been offloaded from a ship.
The report called the air defense system a “game changing” advance for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces deployed in Syria.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the poultry farms were fronts used by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group.
Amid an ongoing years-long de facto war between IRGC Quds Forces in Syria and the Israeli military, Iran has in recent years sought to challenge the IDF’s ability to operate in Syrian airspace.
The new air defense system destroyed in Saturday’s airstrike was, according to the Channel 12 report, part of “a new move by the Iranians in Syria to bring in air defense system to protect their military interests.”
While Iran has a significant military presence in Syria, including both its Quds Force and allied local militias, it has thus far relied on the Assad regime’s air defense network for protection from Israeli airstrikes.
A report last December citing Israeli security officials claimed that Israel has struck some three quarters of Iran’s weapons supply in Syria.
Four years ago, Iran attempted to deploy its own air defense system in Syria, but was reportedly foiled by an Israeli airstrike.
Saturday’s airstrike in Syria came just hours after two explosions reportedly caused heavy damage to an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Basij militia base southeast of Tehran Friday night.