Ahead of Israel’s Independence Day, the military is preparing for a potential direct attack against the Jewish State by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) air force, in response to Israel’s strikes on Iranian military targets in Syria, The Times of Israel reported.
On Tuesday morning, the IDF released aerial photos of Iranian bases in Syria showing the scope of Iran’s military presence in the neighboring country. The installations could constitute potential targets for an Israeli response should Iran attack Israel.
The targets include Damascus International Airport, through which Iranian transports weapons and other military equipment for its militia proxies on the ground; the Sayqal air base; the T-4 air base; an airfield near Aleppo; and a base in Deir Ezzor.
A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry threatened on Monday that the country’s retaliation against Israel will come “sooner or later” and that Jerusalem will “regret its misdeeds.”
“The Zionist regime should not be able to take action and be exempt from punishment,” spokesman Bahram Qasemi told reporters, according to Iranian news media.
Following the increase of activity against Iranian targets in Syria, and continued threats by officials in Tehran against Israel, The Israel Project hosted a conference call with Brig. Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former director-general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, who is currently the director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Kuperwasser warned of a growing Iranian presence in Syria. Until now, he said, Israel’s warnings “fell on deaf ears” with Russia, but suspected that recent escalations could make Moscow “more sensitive” to the message. If asked how Israel could convince the Russians to contain Iran’s influence in Syria, Kupwerwasser charged that Moscow was not interested “in a direct confrontation,” and the closer Iran moves to Israel’s border, the likelier such a confrontation would be.
He also stressed that Israel has the intention and means to “do whatever is necessary” to dismantle Iran’s military infrastructure and defend its interests, even without the support of other major players in Syria.
Israel believes Iran’s retaliatory efforts are being led by Major General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the IRGC’s Quds Force, and other senior Iranian officials. Soleimani has repeatedly threatened to “wipe out the Zionist entity,” including in February over the assassination of a Hezbollah leader, which has been attributed to the Mossad and America’s CIA.
Kuperwasser concluded that Rouhani and Soleimani “are two sides of the same coin” and “both want to see Iran as a hegemonic power” in the region, a threat to Israel and Arab allies.
A complete recording of the call is available here.
[Photo: IDF ]