Israel warned Iran from carrying out further attacks against the Jewish State after Israeli Air Force fighter jets carried out a wave of retaliatory air strikes against dozens of military targets belonging to the Iranian Quds Force (IRGC) and the Syrian army on Tuesday night in Syria.
Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said following the strikes that “the rules have changed: Anyone who shoots at the State of Israel during the day will not sleep at night. Like last week and now this week. Our message to Iran’s leaders is simple: You are no longer immune. Wherever you stretch your tentacles-we will hack them off. The IDF will continue to protect Israeli citizens ”
According to a senior official in Israel’s Defense Establishment, the “head of the Iranian octopus” sits in Tehran but continues to attempt to surround Israel with proxy groups-Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iranian militias in Syria, Islamic Jihad and to some extent Hamas.
“We have not yet threatened the head of the octopus – Tehran. But it is possible to start approaching the head of the Iranian octopus,” he warned.
IDF Spokesperson Brig.Gen. Hidai Zilberman told reporters on Wednesday the tens of targets struck in Damascus, west of Damascus and the Syrian Golan Heights overnight belonging both to the regime of Bashar al-Assad and Quds Force were carried out within minutes and were all located within 80 kilometers of Israel’s border.
While the launchers which fired the rockets on Tuesday morning were not struck, some 20 other targets struck included advanced air defense systems (not the Russian-made S-300 missile defense batteries), surface-to-air missiles, reconnaissance sites and warehouses, the National Defense Building at the Damascus International Airport which houses the Quds Force headquarters and other military positions.
A military source told official Syrian news agency SANA that “At 01:20 am, Israeli warplanes fired several missiles from the direction of both the Occupied Golan, and Marj Eyoun in Lebanon targeting the outskirts of Damascus, and Immediately our air defenses foiled the attack, intercepted the hostile missiles, and downed most of them before they reached their targets.”
According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), 11 people, including seven non-Syrians who are most likely Iranians, were killed in the Israeli airstrikes. The senior Israel defense official acknowledged that there were injuries and a number of Iranian fatalities.