Alleged Israeli strike in Syria targeted ‘shifting’ Iranian air defenses

An airstrike on Saturday in Syria that was attributed to Israel targeted Iranian attempts to bring “game-changing” air defense systems to Syria, Israeli TV reported.

According to Channel 12 news, the location of the morning strike, which hit the Syrian town of al-Hamidiyah near the port city of Tartous, “implies that it [targeted] a weapon carried by sea, possibly using Iranian ships that docked at the port last week.

The report added that the strike came amid “a new initiative by the Iranians in Syria to set up an air defense system to protect their military interests”.

The network did not provide any source for the assessment; according to Syrian state media, the airstrike destroyed “poultry farms” and injured two civilians.

Military officials have said in the past that Syria has upgraded its air defense capabilities with upgraded Iranian-made components. In a strike in 2018, Israel reportedly targeted an advanced Iranian air defense system that will soon be deployed.

Channel 12 said on Saturday that the ‘new effort’ was led by a senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in cooperation with the Syrian military, with the aim of enabling Tehran to exploit its own defense systems. air in Syria.

The network named the IRGC officer as Farid Mahmads Sakai, saying “it is no coincidence that his name is being released now.” No details were provided on where the officer’s name was published or any other information about his rank and position.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets in Syria over the years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. It says it targets the bases of Iran and allied militias, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah group which has fighters deployed in Syria, as well as arms shipments believed to be destined for various proxies.

In another unsourced report, Channel 12 said two explosions occurred at an IRGC base southeast of Tehran, causing “extensive damage” on Friday evening.

There was no official comment on the incident, which was widely publicized on social media and picked up by the London-based opposition backing Iran International.

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