Israeli warplanes carried out strikes in Syria to prevent an Iranian force from launching an attack on Israel with drones loaded with explosives, like "kamikazes", the Israeli army said in the night from Saturday 24 to Sunday 25 August.
Israeli Air Force "has been able to prevent an Iranian attempt by the al-Quods (elite Revolutionary Guardian elite unit) to carry out an attack from Syria against targets in northern Israel with killer drones, "spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters.
Just minutes after speaking, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed a "major operational action" to counter the planned attack by "Iranian force Al-Quods and Shiite militias". "Iran has no immunity," he said. "Our forces operate in any sector against the Iranian aggression".
In a major operational effort, we attacked Israel by the Iranian Quds Force and Shi'ite militias. I reiterate: Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our forces operate in every sector against the Iranian aggression. "If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first."Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) August 24, 2019
The Israeli raid took place in Aqraba, southeast of Damascus, according to the military spokesman, and targeted "several terrorist targets and military installations belonging to al-Quods force as well as Shiite militias".
The Israeli army prevented Thursday a previous attempt to launch a drone attack, he said, without providing details. "The threat was significant and these killer drones were able to hit targets with real efficiency," he said.
Jonathan Conricus also noted that while Iranian forces launched rockets and missiles against Israel three times in 2018, the use of "kamikaze" drones to explode on their targets was a new and "different" tactic.
Drones shot in Lebanon near Beirut
The military spokesman also assured that his country held Iran and the Syrian regime responsible for the drone attack, and that forces in northern Israel were "ready to respond optimally to any development."
In neighboring Lebanon, a drone fell on Sunday shortly before dawn and another exploded in the southern suburbs of the capital Beirut, a stronghold of Hezbollah, told AFP an official of the Shiite movement.
The incident came a few hours after the Israeli strikes in Syria. But the official was not able to say whether the drones were Israeli and if they had been shot down by the Shia movement.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria since the beginning of the war in that country in 2011, most targeting Iranian or Hezbollah targets in the Jewish state, but it is rare for it to communicate its interventions so quickly.
On the Syrian side, a military source quoted by the official Sana news agency said that the Syrian army's anti-aircraft defense had come into action on Saturday evening to counter "Israeli missiles" from the Golan and targeting the environs of Damascus. , stating that most had been shot before reaching their targets.
"The aggression was immediately taken over and now the majority of enemy Israeli missiles have been destroyed before reaching their targets," the source said.