Syria Daily: Israel — Our Strikes Set Back Iranian Military “Many Months”

Iran does not admit any of its forces hit in Thursday’s attacks


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The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday that its overnight strikes set back Iranian military capabilities in Syria by “many months”.

The Israeli military struck multiple positions of the Assad regime, where Iranian personnel are stationed, after rocket fire into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights early Thursday. It claimed the rockets — about 20, all of which were either intercepted or fell without causing casualties outside Israeli territory — were fired by the Quds Forces, Iran’s elite military force for operations outside the Islamic Republic.

The IDF said it responded by attacking more than 50 targets, including headquarters and intelligence centers of the Quds Force; weapons depots; storage facilities; observation posts; and logistics centers, as well as regime anti-aircraft missile systems and the rocket launcher that started the exchange. Among locations given were the al-Kiswah base, an Iranian logistics compound “northwest of Damascus”, storage warehouses at Damascus International Airport, and observation posts and munitions in the zone near the Golan Heights.

The military released photos of some of the sites and video of a strike on a Pantsir S-1 rocket launcher — cost $15 million — which was destroyed:

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman claimed that the IDF had destroyed “nearly all” of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the successful attacks were a “consequence” of Iran “crossing a red line”.

Iran is not acknowledging that its units fired rockets into the Golan Heights or that they were targeted by the Israelis. Instead, President Hassan Rouhani told German Chancellor Angela Merkel, “Iran has always sought to reduce tensions in the region, trying to strengthen security and stability.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi declared that “the Zionist regime’s repeated attacks on Syrian soil” were to “avenge the many failures of their self-created terrorists and tip the scales in their favor”.

The Assad regime’s military continued to declare that it “managed with high efficiency to intercept and destroy a large part of the Israeli missiles”, without providing any evidence.

The Army General Command said three people were killed and two injured by the “remaining parts” of the missiles, with destruction of a radar station and an ammunition depot.

But a pro-Assad blogger has revealed the death of at least one member of the regime armed forces:

Widespread Call to Avoid Escalation

Russia — which is the key ally alongside Iran of the Assad regime but which also has a de facto cooperation arrangement with Israel — did not challenge the attacks or criticize them. Later, Foreign Secretary Sergey Lavrov said the raids were a “very alarming development” and called for caution from both sides, with all issues “solved through dialogue”.

France, Germany, and Britain issued similar statements. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for an “immediate halt to all hostile acts” and for the Security Council to remain actively aware of the situation and “shoulder its responsibilities” under the UN Charter.

While calling for restraint, France declared its “unwavering support for Israel’s security”, and Germany and Britain denounced the rockets into the Golan that they said came from the Iranian military.

The White House condemned Iran’s “provocative attack” with “offensive rocket and missile systems aimed at Israel”. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Iranian deployment is Syria “is an unacceptable and highly dangerous development for the entire Middle East”.


Residents: Regime Seizes Men for Conscription in Douma, Violating Capitulation Agreement

Residents say regime forces in Douma, in the East Ghouta area near Damascus, are seizing young men for military service.

The forced conscriptions would be a violation of last month’s capitulation agreement, brokered by Russian officials with rebels. The deal stipulated a transitional period of six months in which residents choosing to remain in Douma would not be prosecuted or forced into military service.

But multiple sources told Syria Direct that forces at regime checkpoints across the city began detaining young men on Tuesday. “Dozens” were taken on three buses to an unknown destination, pro-opposition media reported.

Two residents estimated that 150 men were seized.

A regime “reconciliation committee” informed residents on Wednesday that the young men arrested the previous day were only those wanted for mandatory military service — required of all Syrian males between the ages of 18 and 42—and that they would be given the choice of serving immediately or after a six-month delay, a resident said.


Civilians Remaining in North Homs After Problems with Evacuation

Hundreds of families in a northern Homs pokcet, which surrendered to pro-Assad forces last week, are withdrawing their decision to leave after difficulties placing people in opposition-held northern Syria.

In the town of Talbiseh alone, 200 families have requested that their names be removed from evacuation lists since the first convoy left the pocket on Monday, said Mohammed al-Khateeb, the head of Talbiseh’s local council.

Thousands of residents faced difficulties reaching northern Aleppo Province, including the city of al-Bab, because camps are full with others displaced by pro-Assad assaults. The convoys are being redirected to Idlib Province.

Northern Aleppo, held by Turkish and rebel forces, is seen as a relatively safe option for displacement, but Russian and regime warplanes are periodically bombing across Idlib.

Idlib and northern Aleppo have been flooded with new waves of displaced after pro-Assad attacks — including chemical as well as conventional weapons — and sieges forced the capitulations of East Ghouta near Damascus and the northern Homs area including the towns of Rastan, Talbiseh, and Houla. At least 35,000 people have been displaced to areas of Aleppo Province in recent months, with relief organizations struggling to accommodate basic needs.

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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.

40 COMMENTS

    • From the link – Russia says it is not shipping S300 SAMs to Syria. What happened? Israel and the US were supposed to shake in their boots and beg for forgiveness when the S300 were deployed! Now we are told that Syria does not need them? And then Andrea tells us that the Saudis are buying S400s!

      • the most funny part is the last bit were the russians say that the syrians have already everything they need.

        • It’s just a ‘shopping around’ to get a better deal from the Americans. The S300 doesn’t work, and the S400 is just a more expensive version of something that does not work. I have oceanfront land to sell you. In Kansas.

          • It’s just a ‘shopping around’ to get a better deal from the Americans. The S300 doesn’t work, and the S400 is just a more expensive version of something that does not work.

            Making stuff up as usual. The Saudis don’t shop around. They spend huge amounts on arms from the US as a bribe for protection. Most of the arms they purchase never get used, and even worse, the Saudis don’t even have the trained personnel to operate them.

            The US has nothign to match the S300 or S400. The Patriot is a lemon.

            US and Israel military experts have openly admitted that the S300/S400 are very capable, which comming from them, is an admission they are superior to anything the US has.

      • Yes at the start. But you know. In the long term that cost/benefit equation can change very much. Infact russia has never moved a finger against any foreign bombardment of syria. NEVER. Nice ally you got. Not suprised many pro regime are starting to be very critical of russia. Iran russia relations must already be on the edge.

        • In the long term that cost/benefit equation can change very much.

          Of course. It certainly has for the US. Indeed, there are reports that the US is offering to withdraw it’s forces from Syria if Iran agrees to do the same.

          Infact russia has never moved a finger against any foreign bombardment of syria. NEVER. Nice ally you got.

          It’s a question of avoiding escalation. The US has done nothign to stop it’s proxies being pounded by the Syrians/Russia/Iran either.

          Not suprised many pro regime are starting to be very critical of russia.

          Big deal. The so called rebels, Saudis etc have all been critical of the US. The main powers have always been careful to avoid direct confrontation. No US president is going to risk having US cities nuked for the same of another country. Russia is the same.

  1. A win-win-lose-win-win situation. Israel wins by taking out Iranian assets. Russia wins by being on the good side of Israel and the US by cancelling shipment of S300 to Syria. Iran loses when their assets in Syria are pulverized. Iran loses by paying off Assad billions for the right to station new assets in Syria to threaten Israel. Russia wins by charging Syria all the monies it receives from Iran. US wins by hastening regime change in Iran as Iran spends its meager budget on attacking Israel and its economy crumbles.

    • You have if backwards as walkways. If Putin was worried about remaining on the good side of Israel he would never have gone into Syria to prop up Assad. It’s Netanyahu who is trying to remain on the good side of Putin. How many times has Bobbi visited Moscow? How many visits has Putin paid to Israel? That tells you who is trying to be on who’s good side.

      Iran loses when their assets in Syria are pulverized.
      Iran wins by being able to station missiles across Israel’s border.

      Iran loses by paying off Assad billions for the right to station new assets in Syria to threaten Israel.
      Iran pays nothing to Assad.

      Russia wins by charging Syria all the monies it receives from Iran.
      Russia charges nothing to Syria.

      US wins by hastening regime change in Iran
      Not going to happen. They’ve been hastening regime change since 1979. The harder the US tried to enforce regime change, the more Iranians will push back.

  2. Israel have made such claims in the past and it turned out to be baseless. After the F16 was shot down, Israel claimed they destroyed half of Syria’s air defences. A few weeks later, Syria managed to shoot down 71 of 105 Tomohawk missiles.

    • Just to be clear — while we are still trying to assess the extent of damage from Israel’s strikes, the Assad regime did not down 71 of 105 Tomahawk missiles on April 14. In fact, there has not been a verified downing of even one missile by anti-aircraft defenses.

      • To be clear, we are still trying to assess if any of the targets the US struck had anything to do with any CQW program. We are also trying to assess if the US would have needed 30 missiles to destroy a single target.

        • All 3 sites were connected with the chemical weapons program, even if there is dispute over whether the Barzeh facility was active in CW at the time it was hit.

          But you’re diverting from my caution: the claim of 71 of 105 Tomahawks downed has absolutely no support and shouldn’t be repeated over and over as a fact.

        • Hahahah Andre still telling us the fairy tale of the downed 70 cruise. Plus the part were bibi is pleading putin not to deliver assad the s300 is another jem of your damaged brain. As usual: keep us laughing.

          • Every time you come out and deny something, there is a news headline that proves you wrong.

            Russia, After Netanyahu Visit, Backs Off Syria S-300 Missile Supplies
            “The comments, by Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to President Vladimir Putin who oversees Russian military assistance to other countries, follow a visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, who has been lobbying Putin hard not to transfer the missiles.
            …..
            But Kozhin’s comments, made so soon after Netanyahu’s Moscow talks with Putin, suggest the Israeli leader’s lobbying efforts have, for the time being, paid off.
            https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/05/11/world/middleeast/11reuters-mideast-crisis-syria-russia.html

            • No. Means the same thing. Vlad aint delivering. Bibi or not. And there goes the treason parade from pro regime supporters.

            • The fact Israel has lobbied fiercely against supplying S300s to Syria and Iran is evidence they are scared of them. Bibbi would have had to have offered Putin a big carrot to reverse the delivery of the S300s. Reading between the lines from Liberman’s statements, he might have proposed to end Israeli strikes in Syria

              • The Kremlin never approved the delivery of the S300s. They dangled it as a possibility for months as leverage both against Assad regime and against Israel.

              • Nonetheless, the fact that Israel and the West has lobbied Moscow for years against supplying S300s to Syria (and for a decade against supplying them to Iran), does suggest that they are worried about S300s,in spite fo Caligola’s childish insistence these missiles are useless.

            • Andre so naive. Bibi in Moscow was delivering an ultimatum to Putin that if you deliver S300, we will pick them off one by one, as they are useless, and all it does is to destroy the price for this missile system, and you will lose the market. The S300 is designed to take down American jets – namely American Boeing airliners only. Like Malaysia Air. Who would want to buy that?

              • Bibi is in no position to deliver any ultimatums to Putin. That is why he has made no less than half a dozen visits to Moscow in since 2011, while Putin has not even bothered to travel to Israel. That shows who’s in charge.

                There are already S300s in Syria protecting Russian bases. Israel cannot pick them off as Russia can effortlessly jam the guidance systems of the Israeli missiles and send them landing harmlessly into the desert.

                Your argument is also self contradictions. If the S300s were useless, why would Bibbi go to the trouble of travelling to Moscow to threat to pick them off? It makes no sense.

                The S300 is designed to take down American jets – namely American Boeing airliners only.

                You are confusing S300s for the Soviet era BUK missiles.

              • Hahhaha — So the Russians can stop the Israeli missiles by just a flip of the switch with electronic jamming warfare? But then they refused to do that for their ally Assad and Iran, who routinely get pulverized by Israeli missiles.

                So either the Russians don’t give a damn for Assad and Ali K. or there is something wrong with your story about the S300s jamming Israeli missiles.

                Sorry to ruin your yearly bonus by finding so many holes in your propaganda.

              • But then they refused to do that for their ally Assad and Iran, who routinely get pulverized by Israeli missiles.

                Pulverised? In your dreams. Russian military officials, whose radars have followed this fight in real time, announced that more than half of the 60 missiles fired by 28 Israeli F-15s and F-16s – as well as 10 ground-to-ground missiles – were intercepted. The Syrian army records 3 dead and 2 wounded, a radar station and ammunition depot destroyed and material damage to Syrian anti-aircraft defense units.

                So either the Russians don’t give a damn for Assad and Ali K. or there is something wrong with your story about the S300s jamming Israeli missiles.

                Again you are totally confused. S300s don’t do the jamming. Radar does.

  3. Iran denies Israel’s allegations that it launched rocket attacks in the occupied Golan Heights: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2018/05/iran-israeli-claims-fabricated-baseless-180511063809142.html

    “The Zionist regime’s frequent attacks on Syria under fabricated and baseless excuses is a breach of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and in defiance of all international laws and regulations,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasem said.”

    There is zero evidence that Iranian forces fired any rockets into Israel. However, the Israelis had been warning that an Iranian attack was “imminent” due to “abnormal movements” just days before. This is a classic propaganda ploy that the Israelis have done in the past to justify aggression: https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-alerts-golan-residents-over-abnormal-iranian-movement-in-syria/

    If Iran wanted to retialiate if wouldn’t have fired a few rockets. More likely, it would have ordered a hit on Israeli forces inside of Israel by Palestinian groups.

    • I think this theory is very compelling.

      The alleged Iranian attack made no sense for a number of reasons.
      1. Israel had been making public warnings about an impending attack and how they were preparing for them. The Iranians would have been aware of these public reports. If these warnings were based on real intercepted intelligence the Iranians would surely have known the Israelis were ready for them.

      2. The nature of the attack makes no sense. It is completely out of character for Iran to respond to Israel on Israel’s terms. That’s not Iran’s style.

      3. Why only fire 20 short range rockets when Iran have such a huge arsenal of long range missiles and rockets?

      • Hahhha — just yesterday you were saying that Iran fired 50 rockets! Now it is 20. Like your 71/102 statistic. Changes on the whim.

        And “Iran has an arsenal” is a joke. Is it like that Iranian stealth fighter jet which was one big model job, and then photoshops of that jet flying in formation?

        Iran doesn’t have money to feed its people. Now you expect them to spend $25 billion on military technology?

        • just yesterday you were saying that Iran fired 50 rockets! Now it is 20. Like your 71/102 statistic. Changes on the whim.
          Actually it looks as though Iran fired no rockets. Israeli jouranalists reported that Israel were shelling Quenetira and the SAA responded with rocket attacks. Israel responded by attacking Damascus.

          And “Iran has an arsenal” is a joke.
          Another joke that the US and Israel keep obsessing about.

          Is it like that Iranian stealth fighter jet which was one big model job, and then photoshops of that jet flying in formation?
          Huh? It was not a stealth jet, but a new generation fighter and the footage was of it flying solo, not in formation.

          Iran doesn’t have money to feed its people.
          Nor does the US apparently.
          https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-hunger-us

    • “Zero evidence”= lots of evidence.
      “No evidence whatsoever”= lots of evidence.

      Etc.

      Consider rephrasing.

      • Consider rephrasing

        Consider that you have not seen or have any access to such evidence, and that your belief is based on claims by governments with a history of lying to the public

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