Massive Air Strike by US Led Coalition Targets Iranian Base in Syria

By ARIE EGOZI

Foreign Affairs

Tel Aviv: In recent weeks, the international coalition led by the US performed massive air strike against the growing presence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria. The air strike mainly targeted an Iranian base where launchers and medium range ballistic missiles have been spotted.

The massive air strike began days after Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader warned that if Israel keeps targeting Iran’s presence in the region, Tehran might strike deep inside Israel as retaliation.

According to Israeli defence sources, the missiles in the attacked base were Iranian made versions of the Scud missiles with ranges of up to 600 km. These missiles are capable to hit any point in Israel. In recent years, the Israeli air force performed hundreds of strikes against shipments  of Iranian made missiles on their way to the Hezbollah in Lebanon via Syria.

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Iranian forces have taken over some areas in Syria that have been controlled so far by Russian troops, with regional intelligence and defence sources raising alarms that that these Iranian units may lead to more attacks on US forces in Syria.

According to Israeli sources, this attacks is a proof that the coalition has decided to act against the growing presence of the Iranians in Syria. The base that has been attacked first is located in the desert that stretches between the cities of al-Miyadin and al-Ashara al-‘ahara, east of Deir a-Zour.

Local sources told the Syria TV news site that two airstrikes had hit the militias’ positions, and the extent of the casualties was not yet known. Local reports claimed hours after the attack that hospitals in both cities, al-Miyadin and al-Ashara, were filled with wounded who came from the attacked sites.

According to the reports from the area, the  airstrike itself was preceded by UAV flights, belonging to the international coalition, over the region. The Iranian militias in the cities of al-Miyadin and al-Ashara have declared high alert in their ranks and have even evacuated some of their headquarters for fear of airstrikes.

The American forces in the rural areas of Deir a-Zour hold several military bases, including the Koniko gas field and the al-Omar oil field from where coalition forces are attacking ISIS forces operating in eastern Syria.

On September 10, 2014, the US announced the formation of a broad international coalition to defeat The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). US and coalition soldiers are stationed in what is known as the ‘Green Village’ in the ‘Al-Omar’ field. US troops in the region are part of about 1,000 US troops still in Syria, and another 2,500 in Iraq.

Israel is closely following the increased presence of Iranian QUDS members in Syria and if this poses an imminent threat, it will act against this force in coordination with the US led coalition. While the Hezbollah in Lebanon is still deterred from performing rocket strikes on targets in Israel, the Iranians in Syria may according to the Israeli sources use the ballistic missiles against Israel.

“Israel will see such an attack as one performed directly by Iran and act accordingly,” an Israeli defence source said.