Casualties Reported in Syria Air Strike

YERUSHALAYIM -

Several members of Iranian proxy forces were killed in an airstrike on three Iranian-controlled weapons depots in Syria over the weekend, according to Syrian media.

The aircraft carrying out the bombing were not identified, and so far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, in which four or five people were killed.

The Syrian Step News agency said three munitions storehouses in the Boulkamal region of Syria, near the Iraqi border, were targeted. This is an area that has reportedly been hit by numerous Israeli raids in the past year, though as usual, Israel would not comment on whether its military was involved.

The news agency cited “well-placed sources” as saying that the four people killed were guards at the storehouses, who were members of militias backed by Iran.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor confirmed the attack, and reported that at least five people were killed.

Despite the official no-comment, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that Israel was taking action to drive Iran out of Syria.

“We are telling the Iranians: Syria will become your Vietnam,” he said, referring to America’s Asian quagmire in the 1960s and 70s.

“If you don’t leave, you will become entrenched and you will bleed, because we will work without hesitation to remove aggressive forces from Syria,” Bennett said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz told an Italian newspaper over the weekend that Israel will use military force if necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Asked by the Corriere Della Sera about the possibility of military action, Katz said “It’s an option. We will not allow Iran to produce or obtain nuclear weapons. If the only option left to us is the military option, we’ll act militarily.”

Katz also warned that Iran is planning fresh attacks against Gulf states, similar to its September strike against Saudi oil facilities.

“The actions against Saudi Arabia and the oil tankers make us understand that Iran still feels strong. Our intelligence information tells us that it intends to hit the Gulf countries again. The threat of sanctions is not enough. The only deterrent is a military threat directed against the regime,” Katz said, according to The Times of Israel.

Katz was in Rome over the weekend to attend the annual MED forum, a strategy conference for Mediterranean countries hosted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) think tank.