Israel delivered ‘major blow’ to Syria’s air defense, caused significant damage

The Israeli Air Force destroyed a significant portion of Assad’s air defense network in Syria.

By: World Israel News Staff

The Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) retaliatory strikes in Syria on Saturday caused significant damage to the Syrian army’s air defense network, according to several reports.

The IDF stated that IAF aircraft targeted the Syrian Aerial Defense System and Iranian targets in Syria. A total of 12 targets were hit, including three aerial defense batteries and four Iranian military targets.

“The Assad regime’s military suffered a major blow as a result of Iran’s military incursion. The Israeli air force counterattack destroyed a significant portion of Assad’s long-range SA-5 integrated air defense network outside Damascus,” said Oubai Shahbandar, a Syrian-American analyst and fellow at the New America Foundation’s International Security Program, a reported.

“We can expect more Israeli strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah positions on Syrian soil in the future as Tehran seeks to further destabilize the region,” Shahbandar estimated.

The escalation also shows that “Iran is at the helm of what remains of Assad’s military, and has supplanted any semblance of Syrian sovereignty,” he added.

Israel believes that the IAF strikes in Syria took out nearly half of Assad’s air defenses, Israel’s Haaretz reported Monday.

IAF Air Staff Commander Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar on Saturday said that Israel inflicted serious harm to Syria’s air defenses, including to “anti-aircraft batteries purchased in recent deals [from the Russians].” Bar, the IAF’s second-in-command, said the attacks were “the biggest and most significant attack the air force has conducted against Syrian air defenses since Operation Peace for the Galilee” in 1982.

Speaking at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel “dealt severe blows to the Iranian and Syrian forces. We made it unequivocally clear to everyone that our rules of action have not changed one bit; we will continue to strike at every attempt to strike at us. This has been our policy and it will remain our policy.”