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Israel claims it destroyed 90% of Iran’s military presence in Syria

Rare daytime strike on Damascus blamed on alleged Israeli attack while Russia scales back presence in Syria, removes land-to-air S-300s

Illustrative - Israeli F-15 (Photo: Ofer Zidon/Flash90)

An Israel Defense Forces spokesman said Israel has near completely destroyed Iran’s ability to transfer weapons to the Syria-based arm of Hezbollah, manufacture weapons in Syria and build Iranian-proxy bases there. 

This includes Iran’s smuggling routes via the Mediterranean Sea, by air and even over land. 

According to IDF sources, the Israeli Air Force has consistently been able to destroy weapons en route to Hezbollah, rendering the terror group mostly ineffective.

Just yesterday, a rare daytime strike on Damascus was attributed to Israel. A Syrian soldier was injured in the attack.

"The Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression with rockets from the north of the occupied Palestinian territories, targeting some points in the vicinity of the city of Damascus," an unnamed military official told SANA, the Syrian Arab News Agency.

Israel does not comment on such strikes. But this one, and another on Friday near the Damascus airport, occurred after a month of relative quiet.

Despite political tensions between Israel and Russia, the mechanism to prevent friction between the two in Syrian airspace continues to function, an Israeli source said. Lulls in airstrikes usually indicate that Iran has paused shipments. 

Recent targets have included components for CERS – the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center in Masyaf, Syria – which Iran uses to produce advanced missiles and weapons for its proxies. The strikes targeting Hezbollah have caused damage to the Syrian military, as well as the terror group, which shares the same weapons-manufacturing facilities.

Israeli security forces reportedly believe that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been working to remove the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah forces from his country, especially from the Syrian Golan Heights and southern Syria, which borders Israel and Jordan. Israeli sources said that al-Assad has realized that he will not be able to regain territory held by the Kurds, or by Turkey, and that the best he can do is to fortify the coastline and the capital, Damascus. 

The New York Times last Thursday reported that Russia has scaled back its forces in Syria, even removing its sophisticated S-300 air defense system from Damascus, which had threatened Israel’s air power in Syrian skies. Israel’s chief concern is that Hezbollah will start using the Iranian-made kamikaze drones that Russia is using against Ukraine.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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