Iran-Backed Houthis Threaten Israel Over Damascus Attacks

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel syria
A missile over Damascus. (Reuters/Firas Makdesi)

Israeli security officials expect Iran to react to the Israeli attack on military targets in the Damascus area Tuesday morning, but not necessarily immediately, Maariv quoted officials as saying. That response was likely to come through actions of Hezbollah or other Shiite militias operating in Syria or Lebanon.

The response could also come in the form of an attack from even further afield. On Thursday, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree threatened Israel after its attack on targets in Syria. The Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran, will “provide an appropriate response to the regime in Tel Aviv if the Israeli army acts aggressively. Israel has regional objectives in the area, but we will not hesitate to response to Israeli evil,” Saree said.

Further details emerged about the attack early Wednesday, in which the IDF smashed targets in southern Syria, after four rockets were fired at Israel from Syria on Tuesday. The targets included military strongholds in the Damascus area and on the Golan, operated by Hezbollah and other terror groups, ostensibly run by the Syrian Army. Estimates of the number of people killed in the attacks have extended to as many as 23, but security officials believe that the number is closer to 12 or 13 – with at least seven of them Iranian. In addition, a report Wednesday said that a “senior Iranian military figure” had been killed in one of the attacks.

Speaking Wednesday, the IDF spokesperson said that Israel was “prepared for any scenario. We are prepared to respond to any attack with full force. At this time, there are no special instructions from the Homefront Command to change regularly scheduled activities.”

On Tuesday, the Iron Dome defense system intercepted and destroyed the Syrian missiles before they could fall in Israeli territory. An Israeli security source quoted by Kan News said that the Israeli response early Wednesday was “definitely out of proportion, but the intent here is to change the balance. Until now the Iranians thought they were untouchable, but we have shown that even for a small attack that had almost no impact on Israel, we will retaliate with a strong response. We still haven’t threatened the ‘head of the octopus’ in Tehran, but last night’s incident shows we are getting closer.”