News Analysis |
Iran used a multiple-barrel vehicle mounted single rocket launcher to target the Israeli defense positions in the occupied Golan Heights region two days back. In retaliation, Israel used its fighter jets and surface-to-surface missiles which inflicted serious damage to Iran’s military installments inside Syria.
Earlier on Tuesday, right after President Donald Trump abandoned the Iran Nuclear deal, Israel had put its forces on high alert in the Golan region after it traced suspicious mobility of Iranian troops. The residents were asked to stay alert and use the bomb shelters when they hear sirens.
Later, it turned out that the threat was real when Iranian forces fired rockets which they claim to have destroyed a radar station and an ammunition depot killing three people. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Iranian rockets either fell short of their targets – military bases in the Golan – or were intercepted. A day later Israel responded with an upscale and calibrated response which according to them “hit almost all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria”.
Donald Trump repeatedly stated that he was planning to back out but Tehran was apparently waiting for his final call before gearing up for a response. As soon as he announced his verdict, Israel observed an unusual movement of Iran’s troops followed by the rocket attack.
Iran has not officially given any response about the extent of the damage but Russia, an ally to President Assad and Iran in Syria, said that Israel fired 60 air-to-surface and 10 surface-to-surface missiles and that more than half were shot down. Britain, France, and Russia have called for a show of restrain from all stakeholders while the United States has described the Israeli belligerence as an act of self-defense against Iran’s deliberate attempt to violate the sovereignty of the country.
Iran has deployed its troops, known as Revolutionary Guards, and military hardware in the Syrian territory. Israel has considered it as another entrenchment on part of Iran to consolidate its strategic and military objective. Both these states have been historically hostile to each other. Amid fear of Iran sitting in its backyard, Israel has been using airstrikes as a preemptive measure continuously to send the message.
Last month, in an Israeli attack on a base inside Syria, 7 revolutionary guards were reportedly dead. In response, Iran targeted the Israeli forces deployed in Golan with a limited rocket strike. But here again, Iran maintained that it was not an act of aggression but the defense as Israel has once again targeted its posts. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, confirmed that rockets were fired towards the occupied Golan.
But it said the attack came after Israeli forces bombarded Baath, a town in the demilitarized zone. It is believed that neither Israel nor Iran are up to an all-out, full-scale war. Geographically Israel lies outside the strike zone of Iran’s missiles and jets. With its advanced defense and counterattack abilities, Israel, on the other hand, has an upper hand in terms of military power.
Syria borders with Israel via Golan Heights which latter occupied, then annexed, after 6 Day war of 1967. Tehran is seeking to establish itself as a military player in Syria to open up another potential front against Israel. And Israel is equally determined to prevent this. The point of all the exercise was to send the message and establish the dominance. “They must remember that if it rains here [in Israel], it will pour there,” he said. “I hope that we have finished this chapter and that everyone got the message.”
Earlier on Tuesday, right after President Donald Trump abandoned the Iran Nuclear deal, Israel had put its forces on high alert in the Golan region after it traced suspicious mobility of Iranian troops.
The fact that it took more than a month from Iran to respond to continuous bullying of Israel speaks a lot about how desperately it wanted the Nuclear deal to remain intact in its original form. Donald Trump repeatedly stated that he was planning to back out but Tehran was apparently waiting for his final call before gearing up for a response. As soon as he announced his verdict, Israel observed an unusual movement of Iran’s troops followed by the rocket attack.
Read more: Trump walks out of ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’
Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Revolutionary Guards had moved advanced weapons to Syria, including surface-to-surface missiles and anti-aircraft batteries that would threaten Israeli fighter jets. Mr. Netanyahu’s lobbying against the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers has raised tensions further with Tehran. But the chapter of using military power to showcase the might is closed, at least for now. But it may follow the funneling of proxies to achieve the outcomes.