Tensions remain high in the Golan Heights weeks after Iran flew a drone into Israeli airspace at the beginning of April and following rocket fire from Syria over Passover. The latest incident involved an Israeli drone crashing in Syria and reports of IDF artillery fire.
Although the report from Iran’s Tasnim News Agency was short, it illustrated how Iran’s focus on Israel continues to be laser-pointed at the Syrian front. The drone incident at the beginning of the month was the latest by Iran against Israel. It sent a drone into Israeli airspace from the T-4 base in February 2018 and another from Iraq in May 2021.
Not only that, but Iran threatened Israel directly with drones – flown from Iran itself last February – that were downed by US coalition aircraft. Israel also used F-35s to shoot down Iranian drones in early 2021. Earlier, Iran had used drones flown from Chabahar to target commercial ships in the Gulf of Oman.
Tensions remain high with Iran
After the incident earlier this month, tensions remained high with Iran. On Passover, terrorists in Lebanon fired 34 rockets at Israel. The next day, more rockets were fired by a Palestinian group based in Syria. Then on April 19, reports emerged that an Israeli drone had crashed in Syria.
Israel fired artillery into Lebanon near Quneitra, Iranian media reported Wednesday. The shells landed near a Syrian Army position near Quneitra, an abandoned town on the ceasefire borderline between Israel and Syria. The Syrian Army returned to the area in 2018.
Other news reports from Syria said leaflets had appeared near the Golan Heights, warning about Hezbollah’s presence in the area. Hezbollah has been operating near the Golan for almost a decade, using the Syrian civil war, which began in 2011, as an infiltration excuse. Hezbollah has also been involved in drone threats dating back to 2019, when its operatives tried to launch drones near the Golan. The drone operators were neutralized, according to a BBC report at the time.
These tensions come amid Iranian claims it is supporting the work of “unseen” hands to move rifles to the West Bank. Iran has also supported other groups to strike at Israel in what Tehran calls the “unity of fronts” campaign. The incidents also come as Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister traveled to Syria this week and as the Saudis met with the Jordanians on Thursday.
This shows that despite the Syrian regime’s hopes to return to the Arab League, it has not reduced tensions near the Golan Heights or Iranian entrenchment.