Israel Reinforces its Deterrence Message with Airstrikes in Eastern Syria
by Matthew RJ Brodsky
Perspectives with Ayman Sikseck / i24News
June 18, 2018
The Assad regime accuses the U.S. coalition of carrying out airstrikes that targeted the Syrian army and Iranian proxies at Al-Harra near the eastern border town of Albu Kamal. But was the U.S. behind it? Other theories included the Russians, ISIS, or Israel. Matthew RJ Brodsky joins Ayman Sikseck on i24News "Perspectives" and explains why Israel carried out the attack and what the message was behind the action.
After first denying a coalition role in the strike, U.S. officials later confirmed that Israel was responsible. Over the weekend, Israeli PM Netanyahu stressed, "we will take action – and are already taking action – against efforts to establish a militarily presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria, both close to the border and deep inside Syria. We will act against these efforts anywhere in Syria." It followed Netanyahu's weekend conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during which he reiterated the importance of rooting out the Iranian presence in Syria. Among the some 52 reported fatalities were Syrian Arab Army forces, Harakat al-Nujaba and the Kata'ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades), both of which are Iranian proxies from Iraq. The strike also targeted a structure along Iran's logistical route.
The message sent by the strike is that Israel will not only target Iranian assets and weapons transfers carried about by air — such as their previous airstrikes at the T4 base in Homs — but along Iran's land routes as well. The location, near Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, reinforces the long reach of the Israeli air force, and its intelligence services, and the IAF ability to strike far from the Golan.