Israel Bombs Southern Syria After Missile Landed Near Nuclear Site

Errant missile fired from air defenses

A new round of Israeli attacks on Syria took place Wednesday evening, after a Syrian air defense system was activated and fired at an Israeli warplane. The missile did not hit the plane, but it landed near Israel’s Dimona nuclear site, and Israel launch a flurry of attacks.

Israel’s attacks centered on military targets in southern Syria, and they hit a number of Syrian air defense batteries. This is just the latest in common Israeli attacks on Syria, which leave Syria’s air defenses constantly ready to try to defend sites.

Complicating matters were that Israel was beefing up its own air defenses around Dimona, with the media speculating that Iran was going to attack them, potentially by way of Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Israel speculated this would be retaliation for recent sabotage in Iran. Syria’s missile didn’t come that close to Dimona, in the grand scheme of things, but with them readying for a strike, they overreacted.

Under ordinary circumstances, this sort of attack could start a war. Israel is never not attacking Syria, however, and that means that Syria’s reaction isn’t exactly the same as if they faced an unprovoked attack. Further escalation, however, is likely to inform Syria’s responses to future Israeli incursions.

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.