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Israeli Airstrikes Kill IRGC Member In Syria, Iran Vows Revenge

Successive unprovoked Israeli airstrikes against Syria, which have picked up in frequency since the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, were reported to have killed a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). This escalatory incident comes only a week after US airstrikes killed as many as 7 in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor, provoking a fierce response from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies.

Two series of airstrikes were carried out against the Syrian capital of Damascus this past week, one on Thursday and another on Friday morning. The first series of missile attacks injured two Syrian soldiers and reportedly targeted Syrian weapons depots, whereas Friday morning’s attack claimed the life of Milad Heidari, an IRGC military advisor. Iran’s IRGC quickly released a statement, asserting that, “the fake and criminal Zionist regime will surely receive a response to this crime,” which has left the Israelis in a state of high alert once again.

Interestingly, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released an official statement on Friday, reacting to the latest round of Israeli airstrikes by stating explicitly that Damascus considers Israel to have coordinated their airstrikes with Al-Qaeda affiliated Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. The Syrian statement explained that the SAA had repelled two rare offensives from al-Qaeda linked Takfiri’s, in both Aleppo and Idlib, on both the days that the Israeli Air Force decided to also attack Syria and that,

“these repeated attacks show the close coordination between the terrorists of Israel and terrorist groups.”

As is usually the case, Israel has not commented on the strikes against Damascus, and the United Nations has not even bothered to request any meeting to be convened on these frequently deadly attacks. It is clear that the only way the international community will get involved is if Israel comes under attack, for as long as Syrians and Iranians are being killed, there will be no care in the world. The reality is that Israel launches these attacks because there are no repercussions. Syrian lives just don’t matter like Israeli lives, at least to the “international community.”

At a time when the Israeli internal political crisis is deepening, for the first time in years its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is no longer the most popular politician, according to polls. It is likely that Tel Aviv is looking for a way to score political points and appears to be retaliating to the ‘Megiddo explosion’, that occurred in Mid-March. Israeli media reported that an explosive device was detonated by a man who had crossed the Lebanese border in order to attack Israelis in the Galilee area. According to Israeli media reports at the time, the military had concluded that Hezbollah and Hamas had worked together to plan the attack, however, the story that was depicted made no sense and the more information that was released by the authorities, the less the narrative remained consistent. Nevertheless, this is a story that was sold to the Israeli public and now the media machine is spinning Tel Aviv’s latest attacks on Syria to have been its way of “retaliating against Iran” for something that nobody can confirm Iran or its allies were even a part of.

For the Israelis, Syria is a punching bag, a place where they can get their fix of violence and killing, without any fear of repercussion. The Syrian state has taken the place of the Gaza Strip, as any significant attack on Palestinians inside the besiege coastal enclave will result in retaliation and causes a headache for the Israeli political establishment. Tel Aviv has launched close to 1000 illegal attacks on Syria since the beginning of the war in 2011, lately in attempts to punish Syria in line with the US’ ongoing collective punishment policy. Damascus has refused to kick Iranians, as well as groups like Hezbollah, out of the country, it has also survived the hundreds of billions that were thrown at destroying Syria, and this is something which Israel seeks to punish.

Sometimes the Israeli government has a specific goal in mind when committing attacks in Syria, such as assassinating a specific figure, or killing someone of a certain nationality in order to show their citizens that they have achieved revenge. Yet, in most cases, Israel is simply looking to create a nuisance for Syria. Hence the airstrikes will destroy civilian airports, sea-ports, and kill anyone, from IRGC advisors to Syrian civilians. Meanwhile, the US administers hardline sanctions against Syria and occupies its most fertile agricultural lands, along with over 90% of its natural gas. At this point, however, an order has been given to directly respond to and confront US aggression in the North East of Syria, in an attempt to change the current status quo and eventually make things too difficult for the Americans to stay in the country.

Iran will likely respond to the killing of one of their advisors, however, it will not likely be with a direct strike against the Israelis. Tehran has shown itself to be calculating and, despite its sometimes hyperbolic rhetoric, it will not strike Israel directly, even in the event that Iranians are assassinated, by Israeli Mossad, in their own capital city. It is likely that some sort of cyber attack, missile strike in Iraq, or naval confrontation is the way Iran’s IRGC will be looking to respond. If we are to go off of past examples, the revenge attacks from the IRGC won’t often kill any Israelis either. This is because an undeniable death toll from an Iranian attack would force Israel to continue the escalation, because if they were to simply stop at that point, their public would be pressuring them and calling for blood.

Robert Inlakesh
Robert Inlakesh
Robert Inlakesh is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, Middle-East analyst & news correspondent for The Last American Vagabond.

One Reply to “Israeli Airstrikes Kill IRGC Member In Syria, Iran Vows Revenge

  1. It appears you’re not taking into consideration those provoking the war between the political Zionists and the leaders of the Islamic World in order to get them to attack each other. Any idea who they might be?

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