Thursday, May 10, 2018

'Major Escalation': Israel Unleashes Airstrikes, Shelling In Syria



In Major Escalation, Israel Unleashes Airstrikes, Shelling On Syria In Retaliation For Alleged Iran Attack




The situation is fluid to say the least, but as far as we can tell this is what has happened tonight so far:
1. Sirens go off in Golan Heights
2. Loud explosions heard
Then blame-game begins...
3. AP: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Wednesday that Israel has attacked targets of the Syrian military on the outskirts of Quneitra.
4. AP: Activists reported rocket fire from Israel into southern Syrian just before midnight Wednesday.
5. AP: The Israeli army says it is investigating and has no further details.
6. IDF report that Iranian Quds force fired 20 rockets towards forward IDF positions on Golan Heights.
7. According to al-Mayadeen (pro-gov) 10 positions of the Israeli Army were shelled with rockets, and several vehicles were targeted with guided missiles.
8. The IDF views this event with great severity and remains prepared for a wide variety of scenarios.
9. Exchanges continue...
10. Israeli jets fire on Damascus; shelling from inside Israel continues.
11. Israeli jets are firing on the headquarters of the Republican Guard.
12. IDF confirms that Israel is launching an attack on targets associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Syria. Meanwhile, the power has been cut in parts of Damascus.

So it is unclear who started the 'fight' but for now rocket exchanges continue.
But you can watch local coverage of the conflict here.


Update V: IDF confirms that Israeli air forces have launched an attack on targets associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Meanwhile, electricity has been cut in parts of Damascus.

Update IV: Israeli air forces are conducting raids on Republican Guard headquarters and the Mezzah miitary air base.



Update III: AP reports the two sides' versions of events...
Israel:
Iranian forces based in Syria fired 20 rockets at Israeli front-line military positions in the Golan Heights early Thursday, the Israeli military said, triggering an Israeli reprisal and further escalating heightened tensions between the two bitter enemies in neighboring Syria.
The Israeli military said its Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted some of the incoming projectiles, while others caused only minimal damage. There were no Israeli casualties.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran's Al Quds force had fired the rockets at several Israeli bases, though he would not say how Israel had determined the Iranian involvement. The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Israeli-controlled Golan.
Israel "views this Iranian attack very severely," Conricus told reporters. He said Israel had responded, but did not provide details.
"This event is not over," he added.
And "Not"-Israel...
Syria's state news agency said early Thursday that Syrian air defenses had intercepted "hostile Israeli missiles," and Syrian media later said the missiles were fired over southwestern Damascus.
Pro-Syrian government media and activists said late Wednesday that missiles had been fired toward Israel from southern Syria targeting Israeli positions in the occupied Golan heights.
Before that report, Syria state news agency said rockets suspected to have been fired from Israel hit southern Syria's Quneitra province.
Activists said it was artillery fire from Israeli positions in the Golan Heights.
There were no reports of casualties.
You decide who's telling the truth.

*  *  *
Update II: Israel has reportedly launched a cruise missile at Damascus...

* * *
Update I: But here's a preliminary timeline of events over the last 24 hours shared by independent journalist Danny Makki on Twitter. 
1. Trump withdraws from Iran Nuclear Deal
2. Israel Instantly activates bomb Shelters in Golan Heights
3. Israel reports unusual Iranian activity in Syria border areas
4. Sources/Reports begin discussing imminent threat of Iranian led attacks on Israel from Syria
5. Israel strikes Al-Kisweh industrial area around Damascus with two rockets
6. Syrian State Media claims two further rockets were downed
7. Reports that Eight Iranians among 15 foreign pro-government fighters were killed in the attack which took place yesterday
8. Israel continues a steady build up of troops/tanks on Syrian border this morning
9. Heavy Israeli air activity over the Golan Heights today
10. Israeli rocket flies over Qunaitra going towards Damascus, Syrian air defense fired at it
11. Reports claim that the rocket was downed South East of Damascus, Israeli Jets still heavily present in the skies
12. Numerous artillery and mortar strikes from Israel targeted areas around Al-Baath City in Qunaitra province
13. Israeli Tanks firing at Syrian positions also, no reports of casualties so far
14. Sirens reportedly heard on Israeli side of border
15. Numerous Israeli strikes now reported in Hadar in Qunaitra
16. Syrian air defense firing at Israeli rockets targeting Hadar in Qunaitra.
17. Al- Mayadeen reporting numerous Syrian army strikes (Mortars, Artillery) on Israeli positions near border with Syria. Most of the Syrian missiles fired at #Israel were reportedly intercepted by the Iron Dome
18. Pro Gov Al-Mayadeen stating that 4 Israeli locations have been targeted
19. Reports of more Israeli strikes on Hadar in Qunaitra
* * *
Israel is retaliating against what it has described as an attack by Iranian forces out of Syria on its forward defensive line in the border region of the Golan Heights. The attack began around midnight Wednesday.
Both Israeli and Syrian media have reported shelling and explosions in their territory.
According to al-Mayadeen Syrian forces shelled 10 positions of the Israeli Army with rockets, and several vehicles were targeted with guided missiles.
If accurate, the strike on Israel by Syrian (and, as Israel alleges, Iranian) forces would mark the first time that the Syrian Army has retaliated against Israel for strikes in Syrian territory, and the first time they've fired directly on Israeli troops, according to WaPo. 
Israelis living near the border are now telling the Jerusalem Post that a "prolonged attack" is underway as the two sides exchange fire...
...And SANA, the Syrian state television station, is reporting shelling in Southwest Damascus, while Syrian air forces are contending with Israeli missiles. There have also been reports that Israel is targeting the Syrian Army 10th Brigade in Qatna in the Damascus countryside.





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