According to reports, an Israeli airstrike at the Damascus Airport has killed nearly a dozen Iranian military officials. One expert believes that this is proof of Israel’s ability to maintain a multifaceted defense in the region.
Behnam Bin Taleblu, a senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said “While there has been no independent confirmation of Guard Corps ranks or names, the IRGC sees Syria as a crucial regional hub for projecting power into the Eastern Mediterranean and connecting its constellation of proxies known as the ‘Axis of Resistance’.”
He added: “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Guard Corps elites are operating in the region, particularly amid a war they are directing from afar.”
Taleblu said that if the strike was independently verified it would prove Israel’s ability to deter and hold back elements of the Axis of Resistance from other geographical areas while fighting to defeat Hamas in Gaza.
Syrian media reported that Israel targeted sites near Damascus and in southern Syria in waves to disrupt Iran’s activities in the country.
The Jerusalem Post reported that 11 Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps leaders (IRGC) were killed in the attack on the airport Thursday night.
Nur Rashid, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, was also reportedly targeted. He only sustained minor injuries in the attack. The group was allegedly in the country to meet high-ranking Syrian delegates.
Israel is said to have launched several strikes in the last week against IRGC personnel based in Damascus. Iranian leaders claim that one of these strikes on Monday killed a senior IRGC commanding officer, Sayyed Razi Mousavi. He was responsible for coordinating a joint military alliance between Iran & Syria.
In a report that was published in Iran late Friday night, a pro-regime official cited by the media denied that 11 senior IRGC members had been killed.
Iran’s state-run media paused their programming to announce Mousavi’s death. They described him as the oldest IRGC adviser in Syria.
The IDF did not comment on the recent strikes against Syria. However, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant spoke at a tour of Ramat David Air Base and said that the IAF’s operation in all areas was impressive. The ‘thundering’ of our planes should drown out any unnecessary discussion and allow the IDF to carry out their missions safely and quietly.
Israel has not shied from Iran’s aggression, which Tehran pushes through the region via its proxy groups such as Hezbollah and Houthis, in Yemen.
In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal this week, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet said that Israel had even retaliated in Iran for terrorist acts committed in 2022. He also claimed that during his tenure, he told his security officials that his goal was to “avoid, if reasonably possible, local conflicts” with Iran’s proxies.
Bennett writes, “I made another decision about Iran as Prime Minister.” I told Israel’s security services to punish Tehran for its decision of sponsoring terror.
He said, “Enough impunity.” After Iran launched two failed UAV attacks on Israel in Feb 2022, Israel demolished a UAV on Iranian soil.
In March 2022, Iran’s terror unit tried to kill Israeli tourists but failed. “Shortly after, the commander was assassinated by the Iranian government in central Tehran,” he said.