In a rare apparent acknowledgment of Israel’s military operations in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israeli Defense Forces were working systematically to prevent Tel Aviv’s enemies from gaining a foothold near borders
“We respond with attacks and force to every attack against us. But we are not only taking action after the fact, but we are also denying the enemy capabilities before the fact. In a systematic and consistent way, we are working to prevent our enemy from establishing attack bases against us and in our vicinity,” Netanyahu said, speaking at an event on Wednesday, according to The Times of Israel.
On Wednesday morning, Syrian air defenses reported downing ‘several’ Israeli missiles during a suspected IDF strike in Daraa province. Later in the day, the Syrian Arab News Agency said that the Israeli military had also conducted “electronic warfare” against Syrian defenses to try to suppress its air defense radar installations.
Information about any possible casualties has yet to be reported.
Prior to Wednesday’s strikes, the last reported IDF attack against Syria took place on June 2, with jets striking multiple targets throughout the country which Tel Aviv said was a response to rocket fire into Israel.
Tel Aviv has admitted to carrying out “hundreds” of air attacks against Syria in recent years, and said that the strikes are aimed at countering an alleged Iranian and Iranian-linked presence in the war-torn country.
Damascus has condemned the attacks as a blatant violation of international law and accused Israel of assisting the jihadist rebels in their efforts to destroy Syria. Iran has said that its presence in Syria has been limited to assistance aimed at helping Damascus crush Daesh (ISIS)*, al-Qaeda,* and other terrorist groups.