Sunday’s airstrike on targets in Syria, purportedly carried out by Israel, was unusual for a number of reasons. First, it occurred in broad daylight, as opposed to hundreds of other strikes in which the Israeli Air Force has preferred to use the cover of darkness.
That suggests that the target was likely an Iranian attempt to deploy highly advanced weapons, and that it appeared to have required an urgent response that could not wait for nightfall.
Whatever was hit by Israel in Syria may have belonged to a category known as “time-critical targets,” which means that they are visible one moment, and out-of-sight or out-of-strike access the next. That could mean that imminent plans were in place to move the target to a place where it would be harder to strike.
The alleged Israeli airstrike also represents the first under the newly appointed IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. As the former head of the IDF’s Northern Command and the ex-commander of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Kochavi has played a central role in Israel’s large-scale preventative campaign against Iran in Syria in recent years. And he looks set to continue with it as chief of staff.