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Israel grants Iran the tariff

Israel has flown massive attacks on Iranian forces in Syria. The new head of the Aviv Kochavi staff clarifies in Teheran that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.

Ulrich Schmid, Jerusalem

It is said that the image distributed by the Syrian Syrian news agency shows missiles near the Damascus airport. (Image: Sana / AP)

It is said that the image distributed by the Syrian Syrian news agency shows missiles near the Damascus airport. (Image: Sana / AP)

Israeli forces attacked numerous Iranian targets during the night of Monday in Syria. The intense attacks came after a missile with an unusually heavy warhead was fired from Syria in the Golan Heights. As has been several times in the recent past, Israel invoked the attacks, which, according to Jewish media reports, were considered the Kudos Brigades, an elite force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Also under attack were the Syrian anti-aircraft batteries. The most violent attacks occurred in the Damascus area.

A punishment escalation

The Israeli attacks were the answer to the shooting of a Syrian projectile. The Iron Dome missile defense system made it ineffective. It was a medium-range missile with a head of about half a ton of weight. If it had reached the bottom, the damage would have been enormous. The launch of missiles from Syria was preceded by an attack with missiles and combat aircraft at an airport south of Damascus. The Russian defense ministry attributed it to Israel. The Israeli missile had been shot down "one hundred percent".

The Israeli attack against Iranian targets killed 11 people, according to the Syrian Human Rights Observatory in Coventry. Four were Syrian soldiers, probably the rest of Iranians. An Israeli army spokesman said on Monday they were Iranians and not local militias who shot down the colossal medium-range missile on the Golan. The rocket was an Iranian product. According to experts, there is much to suggest that it was a Shiite militia affiliated to the Kuds units to launch the rocket.

Menacing silence of Moscow

The Israeli attack against the Iranians is by far the most difficult since the September air raids near Latakia, involving the Syrian anti-aircraft a Russian spy plane of the Ilyushin IL-20 type shot down. 15 Russian soldiers were killed at that time. The Moscow Defense Ministry has attached great importance to the statement that the Israelis are the cause of the disaster. The incident resulted in a fierce dispute between Moscow and Jerusalem. Israel has therefore limited its actions in Syria clearly. If they were attacks, they were always strongly condemned by Moscow. This seems to be over now. In Russia, the media reported Israeli attacks. But until the evening it was a condemnation of the Kremlin. This indicates a change of course. Russia seems to want to improve the bilateral climate again. In recent weeks there have been many contacts between Moscow and Jerusalem. The new chief of staff in Israel, Aviv Kochavi, is very interested in a good connection with Russia.

Silent success for Rohani

It is obvious that Israel considers the opportunity favorable to clarify to its opponents who is militarily the alpha animal in the region. Prime Minister Netanyahu said Monday that the inauguration of the new Ramon International Airport near Eilat will be held responsible for anyone threatening to destroy Israel. Aggression like those shown at night would not be tolerated. Netanyahu's hard speech shows that the lessons were learned from the mistakes of the past. Israel has not been able to stop Iran and Hizbullah from stationing over 120,000 missiles in Lebanon today. It is a huge firepower that far exceeds that of most NATO states. For this reason alone, Israel will never accept that Iran builds a real war machine in Syria.

The moment of Israeli threats is undoubtedly favorable. Secretary of State Pompey and security adviser Bolton appear to have convinced Donald Trump to remain in the region for a while. This limits the range of Iranian action. The landing planned by Teheran in the Mediterranean is not yet a reality, neither the Revolutionary Guards nor the Kuds Brigades were able to bring in planes, helicopters, tanks or modern missiles to Syria. There have been attempts to do so, Israel has frustrated them so far. It seems that the Iranian leadership has also broken a fierce dispute between conservatives and President Hassan Rohani on Syrian politics. Conservatives, mainly the elite of the Kud Brigades and the revolutionary guards, seem to want to deepen their involvement in Syria, while the Rohani pragmatically support a policy in favor of Iran in the face of the American boycott. Israel wants to discourage the Kuds Brigades and thus indirectly supports the Rohanis course. Everything now depends on how Iran responds to the Israeli challenge. If the brigades retire, the situation will intensify rapidly.

Another attack on American soldiers in Syria

Inga Rogg, Istanbul · A suicide bomber attacked a patrol of American soldiers and Kurdish fighters on Monday. According to the Kurdish media, the perpetrator blew himself up with his vehicle full of explosives at a checkpoint near the town of Shaddadi in the northeastern province of Syria, Hasaka. The Americans maintain a military base near Shaddadi.

The extremists of the Islamic State (IS) have claimed responsibility for themselves. If confirmed, it would be the second IS attack to the Americans within a few days. Last week, a kamikaze IS killed 15 Syrians and 4 Americans when he blew himself up in a restaurant in Manbij.

In contrast to Manbij's attack, the attack on Shaddadi did not proclaim deaths, according to the alliance led by the Kurds. There was only one damage to the property, said the Alliance. Images spread on social networks show one of the burning military vehicles. The anti-IS coalition spokesman confirmed the attack with a car bomb. American victims did not exist. More details will be announced at a later date, the spokesman said on Twitter.

The IS controls only a small territory in Syria. But recently, the number of attacks has increased significantly. The extremists also hit places like Manbij, which were considered relatively safe.

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