Israeli-Syrian Escalation Moves to Frontlines

Israel’s repeated attacks on Syria have apparently begun to affect the situation along the main frontline in the Golan Heights.

An Israeli attack that targeted the capital of the war-torn country, Damascus, on September 17 resulted in some tensions along the frontline.

Four F-16 fighter jets of the Israeli Air Force carried out the attack from the direction of the Golan Heights. The fighter jets launched four cruise missiles and ten guided glide bombs at the southern outskirts of Damascus. Two missiles and six bombs were successfully intercepted by Syrian Pantsir-S1 and Buk-M2E air defense systems. However, impacts were reported.

Two structures in Damascus International Airport and an air-defense base in the nearby district of al-Kiswah were hit.

The main target of the attack was reportedly the “Lebanon Corps Support Office” of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The office allegedly supports pro-Iranian forces in Syria, and more importantly Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.

Five Syrian service members were killed as a result of the attack. All of them were reportedly air defense operators.

The deadly attack was apparently meant to disturb Iranian weapons shipments meant for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Earlier this year, Tel Aviv accused the IRGC of smuggling weapons to Syrian airports aboard civilian airliners.

Two days after the attack, on September 19, an unusual incident was reported on the frontline between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that they fired at four suspects who hurled objects along the separation line with Syria towards Israel.

Israeli troops crossed the separation line and opened fire at the suspects. One of the men was seriously wounded. He was detained by the IDF and later evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Israel.

Later the IDF claimed that the suspects were planting anti-personnel mines along the separation line. These claims were refuted by several sources in the southern Syrian governorate of al-Quneitra, who said that the four men were just collecting firewood.

The alleged attack in the Golan Heights will likely lead to a further escalation. Israel responded to similar events in the past by launching large-scale aerial attacks on Syria.

Israel intensified its attacks on Syria in the last few months in a bid to pressure Damascus to move away from its allies, namely Iran and Hezbollah. However, this will not apparently happen any time soon.

Damascus and its allies have not responded to any of Israel’s recent attacks as of yet. Still, they don’t appear to be planning to succumb to pressure from Tel Aviv. Tensions will likely continue and move closer to the frontline on the Golan Heights.

South Front