Last week, Israel struck Iranian positions near Damascus, evidently to prevent an attack on its own territory. Tehran responded by launching rockets from Syria into the Golan Heights, which either fell short of their targets or were intercepted by Israeli countermeasures; to this, Jerusalem responded with a series of attacks throughout Syria. The episode constitutes a new escalation in the ongoing conflict between the Jewish state and the Islamic Republic, about which Yaakov Amidror comments:
Unlike past reports involving attacks on select targets or a single warehouse, the IDF sought to strike a vast array of targets, apparently the entirety of Iran’s infrastructure in Syria—from intelligence outposts to weapons facilities. [In other words], Israel sought to exploit the opportunity to hit a wide range of targets. The IDF had surely been aware of many of these targets for some time, but the opportunity or the diplomatic justification to attack them hadn’t emerged yet. The Iranians created the justification by firing directly at Israel for the first time. The new situation necessitated a different type of response—decisive and comprehensive.
Because Israel cannot allow Iran to build another war machine in Syria—on top of the one it already has in Lebanon in the form of Hizballah—it had to put a “price tag” on Tehran’s activities. Such an attack, if it was indeed successful, will have set the price appropriately. With that, Israel must not ease up. Its intelligence branches need to understand what was destroyed and then identify where and how Iran intends to push its military build-up forward—and neutralize that as well.
Israel’s mission planners [also] need to study the operation and look into the seemingly exaggerated Russian claim that some of the missiles fired by Israel were intercepted by Syrian air defenses (which the IDF targeted only after they opened fire on Israeli planes). They need to think of new attack methods to overcome the dense Syrian defenses, which mainly consist of Russian air-defense systems. The fight isn’t over yet; it seems Iran still hasn’t given up on its plans.