Israel Again Attacks Regime Airbase and Iranian Personnel in Central Syria

Claimed image of a burning Syrian facility after an Israeli strike, November 2, 2017

UPDATE 1545 GMT: Gareth Browne of The National reports, from “security sources”, that Israel notified Russia in advance of its strikes, ensuring that Russian personnel could leave the T-4 airbase before the missiles arrived.

US officials said they were also informed before the strikes.

A correspondent for Iran’s Fars site, linked to the Revolutionary Guards, said four Iranian personnel were killed. The article was later deleted.


Israel has again struck an Assad regime airbase, used by Iranian personnel, in central Syria.

Israeli missiles were fired on the T-4 (Tiyas) base, near the ancient city of Palymyra, early Monday. Unconfirmed claims said 14 personnel, including Iranians, were killed.

Syrian State news agency SANA confirmed the strike, but said only of casualties, “There are martyrs and wounded.”

Reports indicated that the missiles were fired from Israeli jets over Lebanon’s Beqa’a Valley.

The Israeli military does not comment on its operations.

Both the US and France, which have threatened action over the Assad regime’s chemical attacks, denied involvement. SANA initially pointed to “an American aggression”, but shifted to blame of Israel after Washington’s denial.

It is not clear if Israel consulted Washington and Paris over the strike, which came just over 24 hours after the Assad regime’s warplanes carried out two chemical assaults on the besieged opposition enclave of Douma near Damascus.

See Syria Daily, April 9: 85+ Killed in Regime Chemical Attacks on Douma

As usual, Syrian State media and pro-Assad outlet claimed that air defenses intercepted a number of the incoming missiles.

Israel conducted an airstrike against the Tiyas base on February 10, after an Iranian operator working out of it flew an Iranian-made drone into Israeli territory, according to the army.

1st Israeli Strike in 2 Months

The Israeli air force has regularly struck targets inside Syria during the seven-year conflict, in particular to halt supplies of missiles and weaponry to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, an ally of the Assad regime.

The attacks have been expanded as a warning to both Hezbollah and Iran not to establish positions near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights or to threaten an attack on Israeli forces. On February 10, Israel hit the T-4 base among other Assad regime targets, claiming that Iranian controllers at the base oversaw the flight of an Iranian drone into Israeli airspace.

A Syrian anti-aircraft missile downed an Israeli jet, the first time that the Assad regime had struck a warplane. Pro-Assad outlets have claimed since February that the downing had been a deterrent to further Israeli operations.

Construction Minister Yoav Galant, a member of Israel’s Security Cabinet, would not comment directly on the attack but reiterated:

In Syria many forces, from various bodies and coalitions, are operating. Each one says what it says and denies what it denies.

We have clear interests in Syria and we set red lines. We will not allow weapons to pass from Syria to Lebanon, and we will not allow the establishment of an Iranian base.

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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.

43 COMMENTS

  1. This was just an appetizer of what is to really come….there is speculation that the israeli’s hit in order to prevent syrian hardware/personell movement before the real smacking takes place by the US. Look out for a tandem operation between US/Israel in the very next future.

    • Real smacking? Why didn’t the US do it themselves rather than hide behind the Israelis and feign ignorance over the attack? Granted it ‘s hard to know what the US is going to do given that Trump doesn’t even know what he’s going to do from one hour to the next.

      If there is a US attack, it will likely be be another impotent effort like the one a year ago where they give the Russians (and therefore the Syrians) plenty of warning so that they can all move anything of value out of harms way while allowing most of the few Tomohawks that even reach their targets to be shot out of the sky or hit some abandoned hangars.

      The Arturo’s talking heads in the US will then prattle on with their jingoistic BS about being guided by the beauty of their weapons and how Trump once again because the US president.

    • As I suspected, Trump has announced that he will consider his response over the next 24-48 hours. That’s ample time for the Syrians and Iranians to move anything of value of harms way, most likely under the protection of the Russians who the US dare not lay a finger on.

      • The US just smoked 200 russian mercs and you still go on with the russian super power bullshit….you are as funny as a clown in a circus. As usuall. Keep dreaming !

        • The Russian bots who dominate the media comment boards are so nationalistic and so full of vainglory that they can’t believe or understand that Russia is not a superpower, but rather one Mafia nation blackmailing the rest of the world with its ICBMs. The statistics show that Russia’s economy is the same as Mexico, and if it were not for oil and gas, their economy would be that of Cuba. They wallow in their postcolonial dogma claiming that the west is prosperous is because it simply has stolen all the oil and raw materials, but has contributed nothing.

        • The US just smoked 200 russian mercs and you still go on with the russian super power bullshit….

          ROFLA. 2 Lebanese suicide bombers smoked 241 US troops in Lebanon and the US pulled out. I guess that means the US is no super power right? 🙂

  2. So will the mighty mullahs or Hezball retaliate against Isreal even if it leads to certain martyrdom?

    Oh Hades no cause they are only able to win fights when their mates are holding their opponents hands behind their back!

  3. Is there anything to read into the fact that the Russians were informed, and they let the Iranians get whacked?

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