Military Capabilities

Israel hits multiple Iranian targets in Syria

11 May 2018
A still from a video released by IDF showing a Syrian Pantsyr-S1 shortly before being hit. Specifically designed to shoot down missiles, the air defence system appears to have been deployed at Mezzah Air Base when it was hit. Its radar was not rotating, indicating it was not scanning for targets. Source: Israel Defense Forces

Key Points

  • The IDF said it hit dozens of Iranian targets and Syrian air defences on 9–10 May.
  • It undermined Syrian claims that some missiles were shot down by releasing a video showing a Pantsyr-S1 being destroyed

The confrontation between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria escalated into direct violence for a second time overnight on 9–10 May, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) retaliated against a rocket attack by hitting numerous targets in Syria.

The IDF said it detected 20 rockets that were launched from Syria at positions in the Golan Heights, some of which were intercepted by Iron Dome systems. No injuries were reported in the attack, which followed Iranian threats to respond to a series of airstrikes against targets in Syria.

The IDF held Iran’s Quds Force responsible for the rocket attack, saying it was “proof of the intentions behind the establishment of the Iranian regime [presence] in Syria and the threat it poses to Israel and regional stability”. The Quds Force is the external operations branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

The IDF said it responded by hitting dozens of targets in Syria associated with the Quds Force, including a logistics headquarters, a logistics compound in Al-Kiswah, a compound north of Damascus, a munitions storage warehouse at Damascus International Airport, intelligence posts, and observation and military posts located in the Golan Heights buffer zone. The IDF said the launcher responsible for the rocket attack was also destroyed.

Syrian air defence batteries fired on Israeli jets carrying out the strikes, but failed to hit any, according to the IDF. It said it responded by hitting S-200 (SA-5), S-75 (SA-2), Pantsyr-S1 (SA-22), and Buk-M2E (SA-17) systems.

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