Israel launched a barrage of airstrikes on 50 Iranian targets in Syria — a massive escalation that could lead to all-out war

A map posted online by the Israel Defense Forces showing what they say are Iranian positions they struck. Embedded is footage from one of the strikes.

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A map posted online by the Israel Defense Forces showing what they say are Iranian positions they struck. Embedded is footage from one of the strikes.
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Israel Defense Forces

  • Israel launched dozens of strikes on Syria in a massive retaliation on Iran.
  • The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said fighter jets took down “dozens” of Iranian military targets.
  • IDF claimed its airstrikes hit Iranian intelligence facilities, logistic headquarters, observation posts, weapon storage facilities, and a vehicle used to launch rockets into Israeli territory.
  • The strikes represent a massive step up in the fighting between Iran and Israel.

Israel’s military launched a barrage of missile strikes on Iranian targets based in Syria early Thursday morning, a massive retaliation in an ongoing conflict between the two bitter enemies.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed fighter jets took down “dozens” of Iranian military targets in Syria overnight Thursday. The IDF spokeman’s unit told Israel’s Channel 10 News more than 50 targets were hit.

In a series of tweets, the army said the strikes were in response to Iranian rockets launched at IDF positions in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights earlier that night.

An Israeli F-15 E fighter jet.

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An Israeli F-15 E fighter jet.
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THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

The IDF included an animated video of how the military act unfolded, featuring footage reportedly from the strike.

“This Iranian aggression is another proof of the intentions behind the establishment of the Iranian regime in Syria and the threat it poses to Israel and regional stability,” it said.

The IDF said it would “not allow the Iranian threat to establish itself in Syria” and that it would hold the Assad regime accountable for the escalation of violence within its borders.

The official IDF spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, told Channel 10 that Israeli airstrikes had hit Iranian intelligence facilities, logistic headquarters, observation posts, weapon-storage facilities, and a vehicle used to launch rockets into Israeli territory.

Manelis said the strike was the largest attack carried out by Israel in Syria since the two signed an agreement following the end of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

It is also the first time Israel directly pointed blame at Iran for firing into Israeli territory.

Israel claimed that the Iranian strikes on its territory caused no injuries or damage. It said four missiles had been intercepted by the Iron Dome rocket-defense system while others fell into Syrian territory.

Manelis told Haaretz, “We were prepared and we sum up this night as a success despite the fact that it is still not over.”

He said Israel was not seeking escalation but that its forces were “prepared for any scenario.” He added that Israel “hit hard at Iranian infrastructure” that it claims Iran has been building up for over a year.

Manelis posted a photo on his personal Facebook account, illustrating Israel’s airstrikes at several locations in Syria, including several near Syria’s capital of Damascus.

Syrian state news agency SANA reported, “The Syrian air defenses are confronting a new wave of Israeli aggression rockets and downing them one after the other.”

SANA also posted video of what it reported to be Syrian air defenses shooting down Israeli missiles.

Syria’s Observatory for Human Rights said 23 fighters were killed in the airstrikes. Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed Israel used 28 aircrafts and fired 70 missiles.