Look left for Gaza, right for Iran

Source: Look left for Gaza, right for Iran – Arab Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

A senior defense official said it was the most widespread strike targeting Iranian infrastructure in Syria, and with the number of Iranian fatalities quite high, a retaliation is expected.

An IAF plane takes part in the IDF's 'Blue Flag' exercise. November 5th, 2017 (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
An IAF plane takes part in the IDF’s ‘Blue Flag’ exercise. November 5th, 2017
A week after the dust settled in Gaza from heavy fighting between the IDF and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the skies on Israel’s northern front were busy with jets striking Iranian and Syrian targets in response to rockets fired towards Israel’s Golan Heights a day earlier.

It began early Tuesday morning when incoming rocket sirens wailed throughout communities in the Golan, sending thousands to bomb shelters. Four rockets had been fired from Syrian territory in an attack believed to have been ordered by Iran.

Less than 24 hours later, over 20 targets were struck by Israeli Air Force jets, killing, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), 11 people, seven believed to be Iranian forces belonging to Shiite militias or Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

A senior defense official said it was the most widespread strike targeting Iranian infrastructure in the war-torn country, and with the number of Iranian fatalities quite high, it’s only expected that Iran will retaliate.

Tit-for-tat right?

Iran fired rockets towards Israel, perhaps their contribution to the over 400 rockets fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) last week following the assassination of the group’s influential commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata.  Or perhaps because they were angry over the leaked documents to The Intercept and The New York Times showing the IRGC’s deep influence in Iraq.

Though relatively minimal as it caused no damage or injury, Israel can’t sit back and ignore that rocket fire. That would only embolden Israel’s enemies. So, late on Tuesday Israel’s top military brass along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett agreed on a retaliatory operation in Syria, which began around 1AM.

Following the strikes, Bennett said that “the rules have changed: Anyone who shoots at the State of Israel during the day will not sleep at night.”

But have the rules of the game really changed? Or are we just dealing with another round of violence in the north, like the seemingly never-ending rounds of violence in the Gaza Strip?

The wording is becoming so similar, sometimes it’s getting harder to differentiate which front we are talking about.

There have been some 12 rounds of violence involving Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip since March of last year, destroying hundreds of targets and killing dozens of operatives belonging to the groups.

In the north, Israel has been managing a campaign against Iranian entrenchment and weapons smuggling to Hezbollah since 2013, striking thousands of targets and killing dozens of Iranians and Shiite militia forces.

While the senior defense official told reporters that it was the most extensive strike against Iranian targets in Syria, he’s wrong.

In May of last year the IDF carried out the most extensive operation in Syria since 1974-Operation House of Cards- striking over 50 Iranian targets in Syria following a missile barrage of 32 Fajr-5 and Grad missiles towards Israel’s front defensive line in the Golan Heights.

Dozens of positions and targets belonging to the IRGC’s Quds Force in Syria – including the launcher used to fire the rockets- were destroyed within 1.5 hours by the IAF along with the Northern Command.

That attack, which killed 18 Iranians (more than were killed on Tuesday morning), came in response to an alleged Israeli strike against Syria’s T4 airbase that killed seven IRGC soldiers. That T4 strike came in response to another attempted Iranian attack by an armed drone that infiltrated into Israel before being intercepted and destroyed by an attack helicopter.

By comparison, on Tuesday morning a bit over 20 targets-mainly Iranian but also several belonging to the Syrian regime, were struck and 11 people (including 4 civilians) were killed in the strikes which lasted several minutes.

Despite destroying a large amount of Iranian military hardware, Iran continued to increase their long-range capabilities and has continued to launch attacks against Israel.

So it was only a matter of time before the vicious cycle was repeated.

And count on it repeating over and over again. This is Israel’s Second War of Attrition.


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One Comment on “Look left for Gaza, right for Iran”

  1. wingate Says:

    If Israel wants – this is no other war of attrition !
    Israel has to make a decision :
    are we going to play tit-for-tat for dont know how long or are we solving the problem?
    Solving the problem means : cutting off the head of the iranian nazi snake ….
    Further playing tit for tat would be risking shoah #2….
    I thought ” never again !?!”
    Today’s motto is more ” lets wait and hope for the best…”
    That comes from a weak, fearful government…
    Israel : you really want to gamble with your survival ?
    Your choice ! Choose life – survival !
    Go for your enemies + destroy them with the help of your God !

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