update desk

IDF official confirms Israel struck Iranian base in Syria

The New York Times quotes an unnamed military official as confirming Israel hit T-4 air base in Homs • “It was the first time we attacked live Iranian targets, both facilities and people,” he says • Iran’s Feb. 10 drone incursion “opened a new period,” he says.

An Israeli jet flying during an airshow. Source: Flash90.
An Israeli jet flying during an airshow. Source: Flash90.

An Israeli defense official confirmed that it was the Israeli Air Force that struck the T-4 air base in Homs, Syria, last week, The New York Times reported on Monday.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying, “It was the first time we attacked live Iranian targets, both facilities and people.”

Israel has refrained from making any official statement on the strike, which is believed to have dealt a serious blow to Iran’s drone deployment in Syria.

Syria and its allies, Russia and Iran, immediately accused Israel of carrying out the raid, in which seven Iranian Quds Force members were killed, including the commander of the drone unit, Col. Mehdi Dehghan.

Iran was outraged by the strike, and unlike its traditional downplaying of previous indirect incidents, openly acknowledged its losses and vowed to take revenge.

“The crimes will not remain unanswered,” Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said during a visit to Syria.

The T-4 air base, long used by Iranian forces in Syria, is believed to have been the point from where an Iranian drone incursion into Israelwas launched on Feb. 10.

“This is the first time we saw Iran do something against Israel directly, not by proxy. This opened a new period,” the Israeli military official was quoted as saying.

The drone was downed by the Israeli Air Force. Israel retaliated by destroying the drone’s control post and two other Iranian assets in Syria, but the IAF lost an F-16 fighter jet in the process, and the Middle East came dangerously close to a regional conflagration.

On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that the Iranian drone had been weaponized and was sent to attack Israel.

Friedman wrote that the fact that the drone was carrying explosives was alarming as it suggests that the Quds Force, widely considered to be Iran’s black-ops arm, may have been trying to launch an actual military strike on Israel from Syrian soil.

Given the drone incursion and Iran’s threats to destroy Israel, senior Israeli defense officials, he wrote, “have let it be known that if the Iranians were to strike back at Israeli targets, Israel may use the opportunity to make a massive counterstrike on Iran’s entire military infrastructure in Syria.”

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates