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Israel has stepped up its attacks against Syria, launching four waves of strikes on civilian and military targets in the country’s southern and western regions in less than a week.
The escalation began on March 30, when a series of strikes targeted the heart of the Syrian capital, Damascus. The al-Midan and adjacent Kafar Sousah neighborhoods, where several security buildings are located, were both hit. Two service members were wounded by the strikes, which also caused some material losses.
The very next day, March 31, a new series of Israeli strikes hit a position in the outskirts of Damascus. The position turned out to be a facility of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Tehran acknowledged later that two military advisers of the guards, Milad Heydari and Meqdad Mehghani, were killed in the attack. The IRGC vowed that the deadly attack “will not go unanswered.”
The Iranian threat didn’t stop Israel, who launched a new series of strikes against Syria early on April 2. The strikes hit al-Dabaa air base in the southern countryside of Homs, where personnel from the IRGC and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are known to be deployed. An air defense base located near the village of Qaryat al-Dhahabi to the north of the air base was also hit.
One of the hardened aircraft shelters in al-Dabaa air base was destroyed in the strikes, along with a drone communication/control station and a separate communication vehicle. Five Syrian service members were also wounded.
Also on April 2, Israel downed an unidentified drone over the front with Syria using electronic warfare means. The Israeli Defense Forces said that the drone did not cross into Israeli airspace and did not represent a threat at any time.
Tel Aviv held Iran responsible for the incident and alleged that the drone was launched from Syria’s southern region.
Later on April 4, Israel launched a new series of strikes against Syria. The strikes hit a civilian glass factory and military positions in the countryside of Damascus as well as a radar site in the village of Tell al-Sahan in the eastern countryside of al-Suwayda. The strikes claimed the lives of two civilians and caused material losses.
Israel launched hundreds of strikes on civilian and military targets in Syria over the past decade as a part of its so-called “the war between the wars” military campaign. However, this was the first time since the start of the covert campaign it had carried out four large attacks against the war-torn country within a week.
The intensity of the recent Israeli strikes and the losses caused by them will likely force Syria and its allies, namely Iran to respond. This could lead to a limited military confrontation.