A Daylight Strike, a Dangerous Reply

The Fellowship  |  January 22, 2019

A battery of Israel's Iron Dome defence system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, stands above snow in Mount Hermon in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on January 21, 2019. - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today Israel would not allow "Iranian aggression", after its military struck what it called Iranian targets in Syria in response to missile fire. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP) (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)

The IDF has confirmed that it struck Iranian targets in Syria early this week, airstrikes which Syria responded to with fire of their own, forcing Israel to raise her alertness on the Golan Heights. JNS’ Yaakov Lappin dissects the strikes, saying that the IDF’s targets must have been “time-critical,” meaning they were to be moved someplace that would be harder for Israel to strike:

Sunday’s airstrike on targets in Syria, purportedly carried out by Israel, was unusual for a number of reasons. First, it occurred in broad daylight, as opposed to hundreds of other strikes in which the Israeli Air Force has preferred to use the cover of darkness.

That suggests that the target was likely an Iranian attempt to deploy highly advanced weapons, and that it appeared to have required an urgent response that could not wait for nightfall.

Whatever was hit by Israel in Syria may have belonged to a category known as “time-critical targets,” which means that they are visible one moment, and out-of-sight or out-of-strike access the next. That could mean that imminent plans were in place to move the target to a place where it would be harder to strike…

The other unusual and explosive aspect of this incident came in the form of the response from Syria. As Israeli skiers slid their way down the snow-capped Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, they suddenly saw twin smoke trails in the sky, created by two Iron Dome missile-defense interceptors rushing to protect Israeli airspace from a threat. The startled skiers raised their phones to capture an Iron Dome interception of a rocket attack on the Hermon…

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