The IDF said that it struck more than 200 Iranian military targets in Syria over the past year and a half, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.
The army also fired over 800 missiles and mortar shells in its effort to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria.
The IDF’s claim comes the same day that Syria blamed Israeli airstrikes for a number of explosions at military bases in the Hama and Tartous provinces. Iran has also been reported to be transferring ballistic missiles to proxy groups in Iraq and weapons for Hezbollah to Lebanon.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman suggested on Monday that Israel was capable of striking other Iranian targets in the Middle East just as it has done in Syria. The IDF indicated that it has not yet located the Iranian missiles that had been transferred to Iraq, said to be capable of reaching Israel.
Hezbollah has gained a lot of battlefield experience during the more than seven years of Syria’s civil war, according to the IDF’s assessment. However, the terrorist group has also lost more than 2,000 of its fighters and is currently suffering from financial distress.
With Iran’s and Russia’s assistance, the Assad regime has been able to reclaim control of more than 70% of Syria’s territory. Though Syrian troops are now stationed in the Golan Heights bordering Israel, Russian forces together with United Nations peacekeepers are keeping Israel and Syria from escalating the tensions along the border.
Israel reportedly carried out airstrikes against the Tiyas or T-4 airbase in February and April, believed to be the center for Iran’s drone operations in Syria. In February, the attack on the Tiyas airbase came after an Iranian drone infiltrated Israeli airspace. In April, Israel announced that it was able to determine that the drone had been armed and on an attack mission.
And in May, Israeli airstrikes destroyed “nearly all” of Iran’s infrastructure in Syria, according to Liberman, following the firing of 20 rockets towards Israel by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)- Quds Force troops located on the Syrian Golan Heights.
Israeli leaders have declared that an Iranian military presence in Syria is a red line that it will not allow as a result of Syria’s civil war.
[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Flickr ]