Several Iranian soldiers were killed in an Israeli strike on their base in Syria, Arab media reported.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
Several Iranian soldiers were killed in the Israeli bombing of a military base in Syria on Saturday, Arab media reported.
Al Qoraish, an Arabic-language newspaper published from London, reported that several Iranian soldiers were killed or wounded in the attack.
Lebanon’s Al-Mustaqbal reported that at least 12 Iranian soldiers were killed.
Neither Israel nor Iran has confirmed reports on the incident.
Syria’s SANA news agency reported that Israel fired several missiles at a military post near the Syrian capital of Damascus early on Saturday, causing damage. The target was reportedly an Iranian military base that was under construction south of the Syrian capital and just a short 50 km from the border with Israel.
Satellite images of the purported site, published by the BBC last month, appear to show construction activity at the site between January and October of this year. The images show a series of two dozen large and low-rise buildings, likely for housing soldiers and vehicles.
Israel reportedly relayed a rare and sharp message to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria last week, stating that it will not accept Iranian bases or forces on its border and will act against them – and against Assad himself – if need be.
Iran is actively working to establish a military presence in Syria, augmented by Shiite militias, chiefly the Hezbollah terror group. Furthermore, Iran is reportedly working to build precision missile factories in the country as well as air and sea ports.
Iran and its proxies have been supporting the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war and have deployed a force estimated at 500 Iranian army soldiers, 5,000 Hezbollah terrorists and several thousand guerrillas from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
The Iranian army has incurred over 1,000 casualties in Syria, and the question now is whether they are preparing to remain in the long term, after President Bashar al-Assad reasserts control. Such a military presence would open another front against Israel on its northern border and bring the Iranian threat to its doorstep.
Netanyahu: ‘Nip bad things in the bud’
Israel has long warned about the involvement of its arch enemy Iran – including its terror proxy, Hezbollah – in Syria. Issues of concern include a “Shiite corridor” with land links from Iran to Lebanon, providing free movement for terrorists and weapons across the region.
In an interview with the BBC last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran wanted to bring its air force and submarines, as well as its military divisions, very close to Israel.
Asked whether Israel would use military force to stop such developments, Netanyahu told the BBC: “You know, the more we’re prepared to stop it, the less likely we’ll have to resort to much greater things. There is a principle I very much adhere to, which is to nip bad things in the bud.”