On Tuesday, Israel’s ambassador to the UN demanded the Security Council take action against Iran’s military presence in Syria. The demand came after several Israeli airstrikes in Syria against what they deem are Iranian-linked targets.
Last week, Israel said it launched attacks on a wide range of targets inside Syria and released a video of some of the strikes. Israeli airstrikes in Syria are frequent but rarely acknowledged. The strikes came after Israeli officials said explosives were found on the Israeli side of the border with Syria and claimed “Iranian-led” forces had planted them.
Since last week’s airstrikes, there have been several other reports of Israeli attacks inside Syria, operations Israel has not acknowledged. On Wednesday, Israel dropped leaflets in southern Syria, warning the country’s military to cut ties with Iran.
The Israeli focus on Iran’s presence in Syria and uptick in airstrikes comes at a time of heightened tensions in the region between the US and Iran. The Trump administration is planning to increase its “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran as much as possible before Joe Biden is inaugurated.
A report from The New York Times last week said President Trump reviewed options to attack an Iranian nuclear site. On Wednesday, Axios published a story that said the Israeli military was preparing for a possible US military strike on Iran. Some fear Israel could be trying to provoke Iran, as they see the final days of the Trump administration as their last chance for a war.
For their part, Iran is cautious about getting baited into a military confrontation with the US. Iraqi officials told The Associated Press that Iran delivered a message to its allies in the region last week to be on high alert and avoid provoking tensions with the US.