Israel attacks Iranian targets in Syria as regional conflict escalates

Israeli stealth fighter
(Image credit: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Early Thursday, Israel said it had sent missiles and fighter jets into Syria, targeting "dozens" of Iranian assets, including weapons depots, intelligence centers, and logistics sites, as well as destroying Syrian air-defense systems. Syria's Sana news agency said two civilians were killed in the strike; Israel says none of its fighter jets were hit. "We do not know yet the (Iranian) casualty count," said Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. This is the most serious escalation in long-simmering tensions between Iran and Israel since Syria's civil war started in 2011. Israel has been attacking Iranian targets in Syria for weeks, warning it won't accept a permanent Iranian presence in its neighboring country.

Conricus said that Israel had targeted Iran's Quds Force, an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that is fighting alongside Syrian troops, in retaliation for Iran's missile attack on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights earlier Thursday. He said Israel shot down four of Iran's 20 rockets and the rest fell short of their Israeli military targets. "Should there be another Iranian attack, we will be prepared for it," he added. Israel said it gave prior warning of its strike to Russia, which is also fighting with Syria. Iran has not commented on Thursday's skirmishes.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.