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Israeli Warplanes Strike Targets Inside Syria for 3rd Time in 4 Days

Israeli Warplanes Strike Targets Inside Syria for 3rd Time in 4 Days
March 20
11:07 2017

Israeli warplanes have struck targets inside Syria for the third time in four days, carrying out raids early Monday morning.
Unconfirmed reports say the latest raids struck a Hezbollah convoy on the Syrian-Lebanese border.

Early Friday the Israeli military carried out missions — also reportedly against Hezbollah targets — and shot down one of three anti-aircraft missiles fired by the regime, using the Arrow 3 anti-aircraft missile system for the first time.

See Syria Daily, March 17: Israel Strikes Targets, Downs Anti-Aircraft Missile

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened on Sunday, “The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation.”

Also on Sunday an Israeli drone hit a vehicle in Quneitra Province in southwest Syria, killing Yasser al-Sayed, a commander in Syria’s air defense unit.

Syrian State media has declared the downing of Israeli jets and drones, without producing any evidence.

Israel’s Ambassador to Moscow was summoned by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday over the incidents. Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “sent a clear message”, regarding Israel’s freedom to operate, that “this game is over”; however, Russia has not confirmed this.

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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23 Comments

  1. Andre De Angelis
    Andre De Angelis March 20, 11:35

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just a political stunt by Netanyahu to divert attention from his legal troubles back home.

    Reply to this comment
    • Woody
      Woody March 20, 13:14

      I think this is probably the new normal. Thanks to Assad and Iran, a swath of Syria is now “ungoverned”. Assad doesn’t mind as long as he controls the cities and Iran doesn’t care. The countries that do care, like Israel, are going to attempt to govern by airstrike.

      Reply to this comment
      • Christine Lucia Asha
        Christine Lucia Asha March 20, 19:17

        I agree with you Woody. Assad doesn’t need to control the whole country when his propaganda machine has the world’s forces killing opposition civilians for years for free….except for the strike that just hit a little too close to home. He may need to start worrying about reality.

        Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis March 20, 21:35

        Israeli actions had nothing to do with governance of any territory. They have stated repeatedly that they would prefer ISIS to prevail over Assad and Iran.

        Reply to this comment
        • Bs As
          Bs As March 20, 22:27

          “They have stated repeatedly that they would prefer ISIS to prevail over Assad and Iran”

          Lol and you believe their sayings??, it is obvious that those are clearly calculated declarations. Ask Amir if his government thinks preferable to exchange a pseudo anti-imperialist regime for a hamas-styled one….

          Reply to this comment
        • Leeroyjenkins
          Leeroyjenkins March 20, 22:54

          They have never stated it once ever
          They do have a bit of a tiff with iran and hezbollah (aka assads ground forces)

          Reply to this comment
          • Andre De Angelis
            Andre De Angelis March 21, 02:08

            They have never stated it once ever

            Ummm yes they have…repeatedly

            Israeli defense minister: If I had to choose between Iran and ISIS, I’d choose ISIS
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/01/19/israeli-defense-minister-if-i-had-to-choose-between-iran-and-isis-id-choose-isis/?utm_term=.eec0a0eff50a

            Ya’alon: In choice between Iran and ISIS, I prefer ISIS
            http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4755215,00.html

            Israeli Intelligence chief: We do not want ISIS defeat in Syria
            https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/israeli-intelligence-chief-not-want-isis-defeat-syria/

            Reply to this comment
            • Bs As
              Bs As March 21, 03:52

              Andre, of course they stated it but please ask yourself why on earth the israeli defense minister and the intelligence military chief said a thing like that, they´re not stupid men or big mouths. The answer is very simple: they said it to “contaminate” ISIS cause in the eyes of potential regional sympathizers and draw them away into the much more reasonable option (Assad and iran).

              If the israeli government would really prefere to have ISIS as neighbours they would indeed claim repeatedly (contamination tactic) that they prefer Assad and Iran to prevail over ISIS. If israel wants to discredit a cause the only thing it has to do is to show some sympathy for it…

              Reply to this comment
              • Andre De Angelis
                Andre De Angelis March 21, 04:29

                but please ask yourself why on earth the israeli defense minister and the intelligence military chief said a thing like that, they´re not stupid men or big mouths. The answer is very simple: they said it to “contaminate” ISIS cause in the eyes of potential regional sympathizers and draw them away into the much more reasonable option (Assad and iran).

                How is that Michael Oren said the same think to an audience made up of a US right wing think tank moderated by Jeffrey Goldberg? Did he have a suspicion that there were were potential ISIS sympathisers sitting in the audience?

                If the israeli government would really prefere to have ISIS as neighbours they would indeed claim repeatedly (contamination tactic) that they prefer Assad and Iran to prevail over ISIS. </i?

                Oh I see. So to take your argument to it's logical conclusion, Israel must clearly be pro Iran, pro Hezbollah and pro Hamas because it speaks out against them in public. After all, as you clearlly pointed out, if Isrel really wanted to discredit Iran, Hezbollah an Hamas, they would be showing them sympathy right?

        • Woody
          Woody March 20, 23:33

          I use the word “governance” ironically. It’s about making sure whatever “law” (also ironic) prevails on the territory, it can’t threaten the outside world. It’s what’s Assad has been doing (for his little world) and what we’ve been doing for our bigger one.

          Of course, it would be better for everyone to have the territory actually governed by someone competent… but first, obviously, you’d have to get rid of Assad.

          Reply to this comment
    • Amir in Tel Aviv
      Amir in Tel Aviv March 20, 19:08

      The IDF is not Netanyahu’s puppets

      Reply to this comment
      • Bs As
        Bs As March 21, 14:57

        A hamas-style government (and ISIS is much worst) represents a really existential threat to israel (Iran or Assad are just regional antagonists). An ISIS or Hamas-style government in syria can potentially radicalise israel´s sunni population and that´s exactly what israel fears the most (not those ridicule anti-imperialist rants). Why would israel want its own demise??.

        “So to take your argument to it’s logical conclusion, Israel must clearly be pro Iran, pro Hezbollah and pro Hamas because it speaks out against them in public.”

        That´s not it’s logical conclusion. You first need to evaluate to whom is destined the statement, in the present case it is clearly that those are propagandistic statements. If not why on earth would the intelligence military chief want to say that??, do you think he´s an irresponsible big mouth who just happened to yo say whatever suits him at any moment?.

        Reply to this comment
  2. Andre De Angelis
    Andre De Angelis March 20, 11:40

    Syria’s anti aircraft missiles actually managed to chase the Israelis out of Syrian air space.

    Syrian State media has declared the downing of Israeli jets and drones, without producing any evidence.

    Similarly, Israeli officials claim the Friday attack targeted a weapons transfer to Hezbollah, but offered no evidence nor any details on what they were doing with today’s attack, beyond continuing to escalate the situation.

    Reply to this comment
    • caligola
      caligola March 20, 12:17

      Not even a scratch. But the next time israeli jets will be “light up” they promised to take the whole AA Syrian system down. There is nothing Assad or hezb can do.

      Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis March 20, 21:37

        But the next time israeli jets will be “light up” they promised to take the whole

        Just like they promised in 2006 to destroy Hezbollah once and for all. How did that work out?

        Reply to this comment
    • Leeroyjenkins
      Leeroyjenkins March 20, 12:44

      Lol andre ‘syrian state media ‘ said it so it must be true
      The meeting with putin has had an obvious result
      The israelis either asked or simply told putin it was open season on hezbollah scum

      Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis March 20, 21:55

        Lol andre ‘syrian state media ‘ said it so it must be true

        The IDF story itself is the problem. Using an Arrow to shoot down a SAM is like using a machine gun to take down a fly.

        Israel has not released any evidence they shot down a SAM. Defense News suggests it might be a SCUD missile. Retired MIT Prof. Ted Postol reviewed the photographs and IAF account: he confirmed a portion of Opall Rome’s report. The Syrian missile could not be a SAM.

        When you say “open season” just like they did in 2006 right?

        Reply to this comment
        • Leeroyjenkins
          Leeroyjenkins March 20, 22:52

          An anti missle system cant shoot down and outdated missle ? Ok
          Yeah it was …hooefully they kill more hezbollah scum,iranian and afghan invaders , pro regime nazis and of course fingers crossed a few russkies on the ground.

          Reply to this comment
          • Andre De Angelis
            Andre De Angelis March 20, 23:58

            An anti missle system cant shoot down and outdated missle ? Ok ?

            The Arrow is designed to take out incoming ICBMs not anti aircraft missiles. Not saying it can’t, I am saying it’s the least practical choice. Iron Dome would be much more suitable – assuming it even works.

            Yeah it was …hooefully they kill more hezbollah scum,iranian and afghan invaders , pro regime nazis and of course fingers crossed a few russkies on the ground.

            Hope is not a strategy. :) Israel are just

            Reply to this comment
    • Matt
      Matt March 20, 21:14

      “Syria’s anti aircraft missiles actually managed to chase the Israelis out of Syrian air space”
      .
      Yeah, like its a tom and jerry cartoon!

      Reply to this comment
  3. matt
    matt March 21, 03:36

    The Israeli’s weakening hezballs would fit with the russian strategy. Weaken Iran’s grip on Syria, restore state, move in, make deal, get out.

    Reply to this comment

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