Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Israel Identifies Iranian General As Mastermind Of Thwarted Drone Attack

IDF names Iranian general as mastermind of thwarted drone attack plot

Launching its new Persian-language social media accounts, the Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday identified an Iranian general as the mastermind behind a thwarted drone attack against Israel from Syria.
The army said Javad Ghafari, a brigadier general in the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, oversees Iranian forces in Syria and is in charge of Tehran’s efforts to establish a military presence in the country.
“Tens of thousands of Shiites from various nations are operating under Ghafari in Syria,” the IDF said in a statement.

The army said Ghafari was in charge of a cell in Syria that planned to fly explosives-laden drones at Israeli territory, which the IDF thwarted over the weekend.

The IDF, alongside the Farsi statement, published an organizational chart that showed the links between Quds Force head Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Ghafari and the two Hezbollah fighters that were killed in the Israeli strike on Saturday night.
At least five people were killed in the raid, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Israel identified two of those killed as Lebanese nationals Hassan Yousef Zabeeb, 23, from the town of Nabatieh, and Yasser Ahmad Daher, 22, of Blida, both of whom were Hezbollah members.
The military on Monday distributed photographs of the two men traveling together on Iran’s Mahan airline, which Israel and the United States have identified as a major transporter of weaponry and materiel to Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies in Syria and Lebanon. It said Zabeeb and Daher were working under the direct command of Soleimani.

On Saturday night, the Israeli military said its strike targeted operatives from the Quds Force as well as Shiite militias who had been planning on sending “kamikaze” attack drones into Israel armed with explosives. The Iranian attack was believed to be “very imminent,” the army said, prompting the Israeli Air Force to take action and bomb their base. A satellite image distributed by Israeli private intelligence firm ImageSat International showed that the compound had been completely destroyed.
An IDF spokesman said the military has been monitoring the Iranian plot for “a number of weeks,” and that Israeli forces near the Syrian border had been put on high alert.
On Sunday night, the IDF released footage of what it said was another failed attempt by the Iran-backed fighters to launch an explosives-laden drone into northern Israel from Syria on Thursday. The military said it foiled that attempt to launch the unmanned aerial vehicle, but declined to specify how.

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