FPI / July 3, 2019
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck Iranian and Hizbullah targets in Syria on June 30 in one of its largest missions in the neighboring country to date.
IAF warplanes launched a large number of air to surface missiles at targets in the town of Kisweh, which houses the headquarters of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Sahnaya a Damascus suburb, and the port town of Tartus which is home to a Russian naval base and a port leased by the IRGC, according to Syrian and Lebanese media reports.
The 91st military division base of the IRGC in Damascus was one of the targets hit while the Jamraya Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), which was used for the development of chemical weapons, was another one.
The new Israeli raids in Syria show that the IAF has retained its ability to operate against Hizbullah and the Quds Force despite the presence of the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile shield now reported to be fully operable.
Satellite images released by the Israeli company ImageSat International revealed that the Syrian army has deployed four S-300 batteries near the town of Masyaf which has been the scene of earlier IAF attacks.
The images showed that the S-300 batteries were now accompanied by a radar system which can detect warplanes several hundreds of kilometers from the site where the system is stationed.
Additionally, six cruise missiles were fired from the Mediterranean Sea while Syrian air defenses launched at least 13 missiles towards the incoming Israeli projectiles.
One of these Syrian missiles apparently went astray and exploded in Turkey-occupied northern Cyprus causing a blaze but no injuries or damage, Arutz Sheva reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights initially claimed 4 Syrians were killed and scores of others wounded during the Israeli airstrikes. The death toll later climbed to 16 according to Syrian media.
The IAF also targeted a watchtower used by Hizbullah in the town of Tell al-Hara a strategic point overlooking the Golan Heights, according to Syrian observers.