Israel Attacked Syria ‘To Prevent Iranian Strike on Northern Israel’

Says Iranian drones would've attacked northern Israel

A flurry of Israeli airstrikes pounded targets in the Syrian village of Aqtaba, just south of the Syrian capital of Damascus Saturday night. The attack targeted putative Iranian targets in Syria, but was not like most Israeli attacks that just come and go with little comment.

Instead, Israeli Brigadier Gen. Ronen Manelis is claiming that the attack was launched specifically to thwart a plot by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, and that the Quds Force leader Gen. Soleimaini was directing the plot from Tehran.

Gen. Manelis said this proved Israel’s high readiness to act. He claimed that were it not for the attacks, Iranian drones would have moved into northern Israel and launched a terror attack. He also accused Shi’ite militias of being involved in the plot and having troops involved, though it’s not clear if he was alleging that the forces, almost certainly Iraqi militias, were to attack Israel themselves.

Since Israel has just gotten done confirming that they were attacking Shi’ite militia targets in Iraq in recent weeks, it may be that they believe those militias, and their allies in Iran, are looking to carry out retaliatory actions. At the same time, Israel offered no specific evidence that any of these allegations were true.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.