Just after midnight on Thursday, Iran fired 20 missiles from Syria aimed at Israel military targets.
Iran apparently avoided civilian populations to avoid the conflict escalating into an all-out war. Both Syria and the Israeli Defense League say that Israel retaliated for the attack, but no specifics have emerged although Syria claims that all of the Israeli missiles were shot down. There are no reports of casualties and Israel said they were able to shoot down a number of the missiles but did not give a number. Only very minor damage to the military installations was reported.
Considering the fact that their attack was so unsuccessful, the rhetoric Iran has been spewing after President Trump’s rejection of the Iran deal, it looks like their threats were just whistling in the graveyard. If they can’t damage a military base in the very next country, doing damage across a large ocean seems ridiculous.
It’s hard to tell what will come out of this as neither side has made any direct quotes on the matter.
The Israeli army said the missile barrage was carried out by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Forces. This appeared to be the first time that Israel attributed an attack directly to Iran, which generally operates through proxies. The late-night rocket barrage was also the largest attack, in terms of the number of rockets fired, in the seven years of the Syrian civil war.
Immediately following the Iranian attack at 12:10 a.m., Syrian state media reported that Israeli artillery fire targeted a military post near the city of Baath in the Quneitra border region, where Syrian regime forces were stationed.
Approximately an hour and a half later, the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar news outlet reported that Syrian army air defenses were responding to an Israeli air strike against a target southwest of Damascus.