Israel carried out an aerial attack southeast of Syria’s northern Aleppo province late Monday, reported Reuters quoting a Syrian military official.
The unidentified military official, quoted by the state news agency SANA, said Syrian air defences were unable to intercept most of the missiles in the attack that occurred just before midnight. The targets are still being identified, the official said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor that has activists on the ground in Syria, said the Israeli strikes targeted weapons depots that belong to Iranian-backed militia operating in Aleppo’s Safira region.
The group said the strikes were followed by loud explosions. The weapons depots were located inside Syrian military posts, the group said to Reuters news agency representative.
Israeli F-35I “Adir” fighters were able to freely cross the border of Syrian airspace and deliver a series of powerful strikes since the beginning of this year on the positions of the Iranian-backed militia and Syrian army. Despite the fact that Israeli military aircraft operated deep in Syrian territory, the S-300 and S-400 complexes again failed to justify the functions assigned to them.
According to some reports, Israel could well use its electronic warfare means to suppress the radar systems of the S-300 and S-400 SAM systems, but no official statements have yet been made on this score. It is known that the F-35 is fitted with powerful AN/ASQ-239 electronic warfare systems and Israel also developed their SkyShield electronic warfare systems to suppress S-300 and S-400.
Israel has launched hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked military targets in Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. Last month, Israel reportedly carried out an attack on targets in central Syria, reported Qatar based AL Jazeera news.
Israel fears Iranian entrenchment on its northern frontier, and it has repeatedly struck Iran-linked facilities and weapons convoys destined for Hezbollah.
On the same night, two rockets were launched from Lebanon to northern Israel, setting off sirens but causing no damage or injuries. Israel’s military said it responded with artillery fire.
Last month, Israeli air attacks in central Syria killed at least 11 government troops and militia members.
Israeli officials have said earlier missile strikes slowed Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.
The airstrikes are the first since a new Israeli government led by Naftali Bennett came to power last month.
Bennett has vowed to maintain his predecessor’s policy of containment of Iran’s military expansion in Syria, a development Israel’s defense establishment says has upset the region’s strategic balance.
Western intelligence sources say Israeli strikes on Syria are part of a shadow war approved by the United States and part of a policy to undermine Iran’s military power without triggering a major increase in hostilities.
Washington recently carried out strikes against facilities belonging to Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria in response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq.
The Pentagon earlier this month said it was deeply concerned about a series of retaliatory attacks on U.S. personnel based in the northeast of the country who came under fire from Iranian backed militias operating in the area that borders Iraq.
Thousands of Iranian-backed militias have had a growing presence across Syria in the last year after helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regain territory once lost to insurgents.
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