"For several weeks we have been conducting a large-scale operation with the aim of disrupting a strike by the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard's] Quds Force," IDF spokesperson Brig-Gen. Ronen Manelis revealed in a briefing with military reporters Thursday morning. "We have acted several times in the face of Iranian ticking time bombs."
In a dramatic escalation of Israeli-Iranian tensions, Israel struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria after 20 rockets were fired towards Israel’s front defensive line in the Golan Heights early Thursday morning.
"Last night the Quds Force carried out an attack
, a most serious attempt to attack Israel," Manelis said.
However, he said, the Iranians were not able to achieve their objective. "Some 20 rockets were fired, and not one fell in Israeli territory," he said. "Iron Dome intercepted the rockets. There are no injuries and no damage was caused to IDF positions."
"This is an achievement for the Israeli operation that aimed to disrupt and prevent the other side's achievement of their goals, and we can sum this up as a success," Manelis said. "It was impudence on the part of the Quds Force and Qassem Soleimani."
"Last night, the IDF conducted dozens of strikes against Iranian targets in Syria. This is the largest Israeli strike in decades. Dozens of targets belonging to the Iranians Quds Force were struck, including intelligence and logistics centers, camps, weapons depots, listening posts and more. We struck the vehicle that launched the rockets against Israel," the IDF spokesman said.
Syrian State Media: Repeated rounds of Israeli Rockets hit Syria, May 10, 2018 (Reuters)
"The Syrian army fired significant volleys of anti-aircraft missiles, and five Syrian batteries, which fired dozens of missiles, were also struck. All of our aircraft returned safely," he added.
"We will remain vigilant and ready," Manelis said. "The Quds Force has chosen the wrong area of operations, and we will not allow an Iranian presence in Syria."
"The Quds Force paid a heavy price last night. We have seen a demonstration of the IDF's intelligence and airpower capabilities."
"We have acted with the greatest responsibility in order to maintain normalcy, and the instruction for the home front is just that: To maintain normalcy," he said. "In the Golan Heights, gatherings up up to 1000 people are permitted."
"We are not heading towards a worsening of the situation, and the Golan Heights is one of the best-protected places there is."
Israel, he said, has other capabilities. "The rockets were fired by members of Shi'ite militias in the outskirts of Damascus, from a distance of 30-40 kilometers. These are Iranian weapons," he explained. "None of the rockets, Grads and Fajr 5's, hit the ground."
"We consider the Syrians responsible for what happens in Syria, and it will take a long time for the Iranians to rebuild the infrastructure that was hit," Manelis said. "We struck all the planned targets, and the person responsible for this incident is Qassem Soleimani."
Russia was informed prior to the Israeli operation, the IDF spokesperson said. "We have acted against Iranian ticking time bombs several times, and there were Iranians involved in the command and control of the rocket firing."