Israel Strikes Syria for First Time in Nearly a Month

Explosions heard around southern province of Quneitra

For most of the year, Israel had been attacking targets in Syria several times a week. After reports last month that Russia planned to take measures to curb the strikes, the number of strikes greatly decreased.

Indeed, the last Israeli strike on Syrian soil was almost a month ago (27 days). Tuesday, Syrian media reported Israeli strikes against the southern Quineitra Province. As usual, Israeli officials have so far refused comment.

Locals in that part of Syria reported hearing blasts, and there was video of a missile exploding in mid-air, potentially an interception. It is not clear what was exactly targeted, however, and what damage may have been caused.

Most Israeli strikes into Syria are aimed at Shi’ite militia targets, or warehouses the Israelis think might be storing weapons for Hezbollah or other such groups. Quineitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, is a bit different, and Israeli strikes there historically go after Syrian military posts.

There is no word what led to this latest strike, and we may not know the result for a day or two. The bigger question may be if Russia does anything in response.

Russia clearly wants to dial back the Israeli attacks on Syria, and the past month showed that they’ve been pretty successful. Today’s strikes may be a special case, or Israel may be looking to gauge Russia’s reaction, to see if the coast is clear to resume attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.