IAF F-16 fighter jet.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)
An attack allegedly carried out by Israeli fighter jets against targets in Syria over the weekend was aimed at thwarting plans to attack strategic Israeli targets in the Golan Heights, Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida reported on Sunday, citing a Western diplomatic source.
The attack took place overnight Friday, targeting Syrian military bases housing long-range missiles, according to a previous report by Al-Jazeera. The bases, near the Syrian-Lebanese border, belong to Assad regime brigades that possess weapons such as Scud missiles, according to Al-Jazeera.
The Western diplomatic source was quoted by Al-Jarida
as saying that the alleged Israeli raid targeted two brigades of the Syrian Army, which housed long-range strategic weapons to be transferred to Hezbollah.
The Western diplomatic source confirmed to Al Jarida
on Sunday that IDF fighter jets were behind the attack in the Qalamun Mountain region near the Syria-Lebanon border. The IDF has refused to address the claims, saying that its policy is not to respond to foreign reports.
The source told Al Jarida
that the "the raid was a preemptive strike to prevent a plan to hit strategic targets in the Golan, which would draw Israel into a war with Syria, and shuffle the cards."
In January 2015, according to foreign media reports, an IAF aircraft fired missiles at a military convoy
in the Syrian town of Quneitra, near Israeli border in the Golan Heights.
Six senior Hezbollah operatives, including Jihad Mughniyah, son of the late Hezbollah operations chief Imad Mughniyah, and six senior Iranian IRGC officials, including Brigadier General Muhammad Ali Allahdadi, were killed in the attack.
A Western intelligence source said after the attack that Mughniyah was "the head of a major terrorist entity" who was setting up a base on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights with Iranian help, and was planning deadly cross-border attacks against Israel, including infiltrations, rockets, and border bombings.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.