IDF says rocket attack on Hermon, which prompted airstrikes on Iranian installations, was planned ‘months ago’ and approved by Syria
Amid fears of escalation, hours after Israeli airstrikes destroyed Iranian installations and reportedly killed military personnel in Syria, Iran’s air force chief said Monday morning the country’s military was ready to fight a war for “Israel’s disappearance.”
“We’re ready for the decisive war that will bring about Israel’s disappearance. Our armed forces are prepared for the day when Israel will be destroyed,” Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh said, according to Iranian state media.
Israeli fighter jets targeted Iranian weapons storehouses, intelligence facilities and a training camp near Damascus during the massive overnight bombardment, the Israel Defense Forces said earlier in the morning, accusing Iran of firing a missile at the Hermon ski resort a day earlier.
In addition, the Israeli Air Force bombed a number of Syrian air defense systems that fired on the attacking fighter jets, the military said.
“During the attack, dozens of Syrian surface-to-air missiles were fired, despite the clear warnings expressed [by Israel] to refrain from attacking. As a result, a number of Syrian air defense batteries were also attacked,” the IDF said in a statement.
The missile fired on the Hermon, which was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system, appeared to come in retaliation for an alleged Israeli strike earlier Sunday against targets in the Damascus International Airport and in the town of al-Kiswah, south of the capital.
But IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Monday that the rocket attack had been planned months in advance.
“The Iranian [rocket] launch took place after very lengthy preparations and a decision-making process that concluded months ago,” Manelis said in a statement.
The rocket was launched “by an Iranian force from the Damascus area, from inside territory that [the Syrian government] promised would not host an Iranian presence,” he charged.
“Syria is paying a heavy price for its approval of the [rocket] operation, and the fire yesterday toward the northern Golan,” Manelis added. “The Syrians had prepared for the operation, which was planned beforehand. The attack was an Iranian attempt to strike at Israel.”
Full article: Iranian air chief: ‘We’re ready for war that will destroy Israel’ (The Times of Israel)