Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Updates From Israel: Five Targets Struck In Syria, 8 Iranians Among 15 Dead,

Report: Israel struck five targets in Syria

Just a short while following President Trump’s announcement that his administration would place “crippling economic sanctions” on Iran and that the US would be exiting the nuclear deal, the IDF detected movement of Iranian forces in Syria, placing citizens in northern Israel on high alert.
Reports surfaced first of explosions outside of Damascus followed by reports from Syria that it had downed Israeli missiles. The strikes were reportedly carried out on a military base south of Damascus in the suburb el-Kiswa that was hit in the past by the IDF, the base reportedly armed with missiles pointed at Israel on Tuesday night.
A reported five targets were hit in total, the Syrian army denying any casualties. Varied Arab media reported at least nine Iranian fighters from the Revolutionary Guards or Shiite militia were killed in the strikes, with some reports claiming a Iranian general killed.
The IDF, as with majority of its covert operation in Syria, refused to comment on reports.
Iranian lawmakers took to burning a paper US flag in its parliament on Wednesday morning, shouting “Death to America”. Iran’s President threatened that it could resume its enrichment, while stating that Iran would remain in the nuclear deal without the United States. He stated Tuesday night “So if necessary, we can begin our industrial enrichment without any limitations. Until implementation of this decision, we will wait for some weeks and will talk with our friends and allies and other signatories of the nuclear deal, who signed it and who will remain loyal to it. Everything depends on our national interests.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu left on Wednesday morning for an important meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, their meeting part of military coordination between the IDF and Russian army. He stated ahead of his flight “I am now leaving for an important meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meetings between us are always important and this one is especially so. In light of what is currently happening in Syria, it is necessary to ensure the continued coordination between the Russian military and the IDF.”
Meanwhile, France, Germany and the UK announced their continued commitment to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (nuclear deal), state leaders from all three countries releasing a statement following the United States’ withdrawal. It reads, “Together, we emphasize our continuing commitment to the JCPOA. This agreement remains important for our shared security. We recall that the JCPOA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in resolution 2231. This resolution remains the binding international legal framework for the resolution of the dispute about the Iranian nuclear program. We urge all sides to remain committed to its full implementation and to act in a spirit of responsibility. We urge all sides to remain committed to its full implementation and to act in a spirit of responsibility.”

Israeli jets carried out strikes on several Syrian military bases where there is a significant Iranian presence, Syrian media reported.

According to Syrian regime sources, two Israeli missiles were downed near the al-Kiswah industrial zones near the capital of Damascus which were targeting a weapons convoy at the base. 

A commander in the regional alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Reuters that Israel's air force had struck an army base at Al-Kiswah without causing casualties.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported later that nine fighters belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps or pro-Iranian Shiite militias were killed in the attack.

Video shows the size of the Israeli air strike that targeted the base and storage place of the Iranian missiles in #Alkaswa area south of the Syrian capital #Damascus.#Israel #Syria #USA #Trump #IDF #NuclearDeal #Iran#Russia
— Eva J. Koulouriotis (@evacool_) May 8, 2018

Asked about those statements, an Israeli military spokeswoman said: "We do not respond to such foreign reports." 

Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman held security consultations with the heads of the defense establishment at the  Kirya Military Headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Liberman spoke with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and thanked him for President's Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran and briefed him on recent development in the region. 

The military instructed local governments on Tuesday to open bomb shelters to residents of the Golan Heights following the identification of “abnormal movements of Iranian forces in Syria.”

Iran, according to intelligence, is thought to be determined to carry out an attack on Israel, and to be in the advanced planning stages, and may soon execute the strike that it had vowed to carry out in retaliation for an alleged Israel Air Force strike two months ago on the Assad regime’s T-4 airbase near Homs that is used by the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.

On Sunday, it became known that the IDF had uncovered involvement by Hezbollah commanders, under the command of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in a planned attack on IDF military positions using precision-guided missiles or armed drones launched from a base in Syria.

CCTV footage from an industrial site at Kisweh, S. Damascus shows the moment of impact of the suspected Israel strike. Footage also shows what appears to be secondary explosions.
Meawhile, Syrian State TV reports that there were two civilian causalities as a result of the Israeli strikes on Al- Kisweh
The Syrian state news agency SANA reported the sound of explosions near Kisweh and said Syrian air defenses fired at and destroyed two Israeli missiles in the Kisweh area.
The location of the strike is shown below:
According to unconfirmed social media sources, two rockets reportedly hit a factory in the area.
In response to the Israeli attack, Syrian air defenses fired at rockets, with reports on the ground claiming that Syrian air defenses reportedly downed two incoming missiles.
Meanwhile, as journalist Danny Makki writes, and as we explained earlier, the tension on the ground will only escalate:

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