Report: Target of Israel strike in Syria was advanced Iranian air-defense system

Israel targeted an advanced Iranian air-defense system at the T4 Airbase in Syria last week, the Wall Street Journal reported.

By: World Israel News Staff

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) targeted an advanced Iranian air-defense system at the Tiyas Airbase in Syria last week, according to intelligence officials and others briefed on the matter cited in a Wall Street Journal report.

The Tuesday WSJ report said that Israeli officials told the Trump administration about the planned strike in advance.

According to the report, following a February flare-up in Syria in which Iran attempted to fly a drone into Israel, which responded by attacking Iranian drones based at the T4 base, Iran beefed up its air defenses at the base.

Earlier this month, Israel tracked an Iranian plane that flew a Russian-made Tor missile defense system from Tehran to the Syrian base.

Israel moved quickly to destroy the new air defense system before Iranian forces could set it up, the intelligence officials quoted by the WSJ said.

Israel has kept silent about the strike.

The Syrian T4 Military Airbase, located in the Homs province, was struck by several missiles last week, leaving at least seven Iranian soldiers dead.

The Russian Defense Ministry blamed Israel for the attack. It said that two Israel Air Force (IAF) F-15 jets fired the missile at the Syrian airbase from Lebanese airspace.

A separate report said that the target of the air strike was an Iranian drone base. In February, an Iranian drone flying out of the T4 base was shot down by Israel. The drone was found to be armed with missiles.

The T4 Air Airbase, Syria’s largest, is home to Iranian forces, the Lebanese Hezbollah terror organization and Syrian regime forces.

Israel considers Iranian military bases in Syria a “red line,” and has repeatedly said it will fight to prevent Iran’s military buildup and spread inside Syria.

Iran now has bases in Aleppo, Deir Ezzour, T-4, Damascus airport and Sayqal, located south of the capital, according to intelligence officials. At each, Iranian military transport aircraft bringing weapons for Hezbollah or missiles and drones specifically for Iranian forces, the WSJ report said.

“It’s the most serious establishment of Iranian military positions close to Israel’s border than [Israelis] have ever seen,” James Sorene, chief executive of Bicom, a UK-based think tank, told the WSJ.

Israel is bracing for a wider clash with Tehran, and Israel’s security forces are on high alert in anticipation of a possible revenge attack by Iran.