- Title: Israel says air strike in Syria sent "no immunity" message to Iran
- Date: 25th August 2019
- Summary: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (AUGUST 25, 2019) (REUTERS) ISRAELI MILITARY SPOKESMAN JONATHAN CONRICUS SPEAKING ON MOBILE PHONE CONRICUS' NAME TAG CONRICUS TALKING TO REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI MILITARY SPOKESMAN, JONATHAN CONRICUS, SAYING: "Last midnight the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) foiled an attempt of the Iranian Quds Force and Shi'ite militias to attack Israel using killer drones. The Israeli air force struck targets south of Damascus, belonging to the Iranian Quds Force and Shi'ite militias. The IRGC Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, planned to launch these killer drones from Syria and attack Israel just like he has attacked airports and oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and additional places all over the Middle East. We hold the Iranian and Syrian regimes responsible for this attempted attack. The IDF is monitoring the situation and is on high alert for various scenarios, both offensive and defensive. This Iranian attempt to attack Israel is further proof of the threat that Iranian entrenchment in Syria poses to the security of the State of Israel and the region as a whole." CONRICUS BEING INTERVIEWED 00:01:20:24
- Embargoed: 8th September 2019 11:15
- Keywords: Israel Syria Iran air strike drones army Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
- Location: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL/ INTERNET
- City: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL/ INTERNET
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA001ATPUCLJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Israel said on Sunday (August 25) an air strike against an arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards in Syria that it accused of planning "killer drone attacks" showed Tehran that its forces were vulnerable anywhere.
A senior Revolutionary Guards commander denied that Iranian targets had been hit late on Saturday (August 24) and said its military "advisory centres have not been harmed", the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.
The Israeli military said its aircraft struck Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite militias which, it said, were preparing to advance attack plans targeting sites in Israel from within Syria.
The elite Quds Force is the overseas arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told Reuters the forces had been preparing to launch "killer drones" armed with explosives at northern Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the military had thwarted the planned Iranian attack.
"Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our forces operate in every sector against the Iranian aggression," he said on Twitter. "If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first."
Syrian state media said Syrian air defences intercepted "hostile targets" over Damascus, the capital, on Saturday night. Witnesses in Damascus said they heard and saw explosions in the sky.
The Syrian army said in a statement that "the majority of the Israeli missiles were destroyed before reaching their targets." Conricus, however, said the impact of the Israeli strikes was "significant."
A war monitor said on Sunday that two members of Tehran-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah and one Iranian were killed in the strikes.
Israel says it has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria against Iranian targets trying to establish a permanent military presence there and against advanced weapon shipments to Hezbollah.
Iran and Hezbollah are helping President Bashar al-Assad in the eight-year Syria war. Russia, which is also aiding Assad, has largely turned a blind eye to the Israeli air strikes. Netanyahu spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday (August 23), the Israeli leader's office said.
(Productions: Rami Amichay, Lee Marzel)
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