From Wednesday into Thursday morning, Iranian and Israeli forces exchanged blows directed at military positions. It marked a new period of escalation between the two enemies. It is believed to be the first time that Iranian forces were directly responsible for launching a rocket campaign at Israel without the use of proxy forces such as Hezbollah and other terror groups.
Iran’s regime forces in Syria launched a major rocket attack on Israeli areas in the Golan Heights to the north. Israeli forces reported that the Iranian barrage was stopped in its tracks by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense. Additionally, there were no casualties reported on the Israeli side thanks to its sophisticated defense systems.
Iran had been for weeks promising to respond to Israel’s early April attack on its T-4 air base outside of Homs, Syria, which resulted in the destruction of a hangar and over a dozen Iranian regime casualties.
— خبرگزاری تسنیم 🇮🇷 (@Tasnimnews_Fa) April 10, 2018
After the Iranian attack, it was time for Israel to retaliate. And according to reports, Israel left a mark that will be remembered for quite some time. The Israeli air force destroyed “nearly all” of Iran’s military apparatus in Syria, Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman claimed Thursday.
“If there is rain on our side, there will be a flood on their side,” Lieberman stated. “I hope we have finished with this round and that everybody understood,” he added, calling on the Iranian regime to back down.
The IDF has struck dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria in response to the Iranian rocket attack against Israel. Quds force is behind attack and has played the initial price. IDF remains ready for various scenarios but does not seek to escalate the situation. pic.twitter.com/4rC8gHK2LG
— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) May 10, 2018
For supporters of Israel, the reaction from the White House was a welcome shift from the hostility commonly seen from the Obama administration.
The U.S. condemns the Iranian regime’s provocative rocket attacks from Syria against Israeli citizens, and we strongly support Israel’s right to act in self-defense.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 10, 2018
It is important to understand how we got to this point. For too long, U.S. policy has all but entirely ignored the Iranian buildup in Syria and neighboring countries. As the U.S. coalition focused squarely on eliminating what’s left of ISIS — while letting other anti-American entities metastasize — the balance of power has shifted towards the Iranian axis, allowing for the Tehran regime and its proxies to usurp territory and influence.
Because of the lack of initiative from western powers, Israel has been forced to regularly go at it alone and “mow the lawn” in Syria to fend off the existential threat posed by encroaching Iranian forces. Israel is far from the only country concerned with Iranian interference in Middle East affairs. Practically all of our Gulf state allies share Israel’s concerns.
In order to prevent a new war in the Middle East, the Pentagon should scrap our “only ISIS” strategy and recalibrate it to ensure that the Iranian regime and its allies do not continue to threaten our regional allies and partners. If the Iranian threat remains unchecked and unimpeded, it’s only a matter of time before this current tit-for-tat escalates into another major regional war.