Israel Carries Out Massive Airstrikes at Syrian-Iraqi Border

18 Separate Attacks Kill at Least 23

Israeli Ministers: We Will Not Tolerate Iranian Aggression

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Foreign media reports indicate that Israel attacked a key pipeline for Iranian weapons near the border of Syria and Iraq, killing at least 23 and wounding dozens.

The area has reportedly been targeted by the Israeli Air Force a number of times in the past. Reports claim that warehouses in the area were being used by Iran to store components for its illicit nuclear arms program. A US official told AP that American intelligence agencies had provided Israel with information prior to the attacks.

According to Al Jazeera:

The Israeli air force carried out more than 18 attacks against multiple targets in an area stretching from the eastern town of Deir Az Zor to the al-Bukamal desert at the Syrian-Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The raids killed seven Syrian soldiers and 16 non-Syrian militia fighters whose nationalities were not immediately known, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

Paramilitaries belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement and the Fatimid Brigade, which is made up of pro-Iranian Afghan fighters, operate in the region, the Observatory said.

According to the Washington Post:

The Observatory said it recorded 39 Israeli strikes inside Syria in 2020 that hit 135 targets, including military posts, warehouses or vehicles. In those attacks, at least 217 people were killed, mostly Iranian-allied militiamen, according to the Observatory.

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The Times of Israel reports Israeli government ministers did not explicitly acknowledge Israeli responsibility, but issued warnings to Iran that its aggression will not be tolerated.

Tzachi Hanegbi stated, “We don’t acknowledge this or other strikes,” but added, “The Iranians want permission from Assad to act freely in Syria, to transform it into the model of Hezbollah.”

“This is all to deter us from acting against its nuclear program,” he added.

Hanegbi related this to the incoming Biden administration, saying, “The most important thing is to convince the incoming American administration not to repeat the mistakes of the Obama administration — to appease the Iranians.”

“This only increased Iranian aggression and defiance. They saw this as American weakness,” he asserted.

Minister Yuval Steinitz also commented, saying Israel is making a “tremendous effort against Iran and its attempts to obtain nuclear weapons and establish itself in Syria.”

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