Yerushalayim (Yoni Ariel/TPS) – IAF aircraft attacked and destroyed a shipment of what has been reported as a strategic weapons shipment destined for Hezbollah. The IDF spokesperson confirmed the attack but did not release any information relating to the target.
The attack occurred at approximately 3:00 am this morning. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s statement “IAF aircraft bombed a number of targets in Syria.” “during the attack Syrian air defense systems launched AA (anti-aircraft) missiles at the aircraft.” “The missiles did not at any time endanger the Israeli aircraft.”
Israeli air defense systems determined there was a risk the Syrian AA missiles would land in Israeli territory. Air raid sirens in the Jordan Valley area went off. The Arrow system (one of the three systems that constitute Israel’s MDS [Missile Defense System]) was activated, and successfully intercepted an incoming Syrian missile.
This is the first time Israel has used its MDS to intercept an anti-aircraft missile. A former Senior Defense Official told TPS that the decision to display this capability may have been in order to send a message to Russia. “We know that Netanyahu recently visited Moscow to discuss Iran’s growing presence in Syria, and to make it clear that it was of grave concern to Israel.” “Grave concern is diplomatese for we will use force if necessary.” “This may have been meant to let Moscow know that we can neutralize the advanced air defense systems they have deployed in Syria.”
If this is indeed the case, it means that Israel could take unilateral action against Iranian forces in Syria, as it is highly unlikely Russia would risk seeing the supposedly state of the art air defense systems it has deployed in Syria rendered ineffective.