In the night of Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019 the Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out an airstrike over the southwestern region of Syria.
According to Al Masdar News, the strike resulted in the destruction of an alleged Hezbollah compound that was located in the Aqraba region of the Damascus Governorate.
According to a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) source, at least five Hezbollah military personnel were killed as a result of this Israeli attack.
While IAF managed to hit one of its main targets, the Russian publication Tsargrad.TV reported that IAF aircraft were forced out of Syrian airspace as they were preparing for a second wave of strikes.
According Tsargrad.TV, in fact Russian Air and Space Force (RuASF) Su-35s took off from Hmeimim Airbase and made their way towards the Mediterranean Sea as the Israeli Air Force aircraft were preparing a second attack.
As a result of this move by RuASF, the IAF was unable to complete their second round of strikes, the Russian aviation website Avia.Pro added.
It is worth noting that one day before these strikes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Since this attack on Saturday evening, tensions between Israel and Iran have been at a month-long-high, as Lebanon’s Hezbollah has vowed to avenge their losses from the Israeli strikes.
As already reported, on Jul. 9, 2019 following threats against his country by senior Iranian officials in the previous weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tehran that IAF F-35I fighter jets can reach “anywhere in the Middle East.”
“Lately, Iran has been threatening Israel with destruction,” Netanyahu said, standing in front of an F-35 Adir jet during a visit to the Nevatim Air Base, where he had meetings with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi and IAF Chief Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin. “It should remember that these planes can reach every place in the Middle East, including Iran, and of course also Syria.”
Norkin said last year said Israel had used the fifth generation fighter jet in operations in the Middle East for the first time. Although at the time, Norkin did not revealed in which countries the aircraft had been used, rumours sparked that Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) commander Brigadier General Farzad Ismaili, who had been in office since 2010, has been fired by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after he kept secret that IAF F-35 stealth fighters had violated Iran’s airspace in March 2018.
Israel has long seen Iran as its greatest threat, while Iranian officials regularly threaten to destroy the Jewish state.
On Jul. 1, a senior Iranian lawmaker said Israel would be destroyed rapidly if the US attacked the Islamic Republic.
“If the US attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan,” said Mojtaba Zolnour, chairman of Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, in comments carried by the Mehr news agency.
Photo credit: Russian Air and Space Force and Israeli Air Force
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