Two fighter jets of the Armed Forces of Israel delivered a missile strike on a Syrian military facility several kilometers southwards the international airport of Damascus in the early hours of August 24, 2019. A representative of the Israeli Ministry of Defense said that the strike had destroyed a workshop where Iranian servicemen assembled offensive unmanned aerial vehicles to bomb Israel.
The Israeli command reported the death of two fighters of Lebanon's Hezbollah and one Iranian servicemen.
Syria's air defense systems fired at Israeli aerial targets but no results have been reported. Israel's aircraft returned back to bases undamaged. A representative of Iran's military command denied Israel's reports of Iranian losses in Syria. "America and Israel do not have the power to attack Iran’s centers and positions and the Zionist regime’s claims about targeting Iranian positions are lies," Major General Mohsen Rezaei.
Noteworthy, the Israelis have delivered more than 200 air and missile strikes on military facilities in Syria since the armed conflict had started there in 2011. Aircraft of the Israeli Air Force attacked with impunity Syria's air space and only after Russia's air defense system S-300 was shipped and put on combat duty in Syria in late 2018 the Israelis began to launch missiles far from the Syrian state border.
The vast majority of strikes were delivered on military facilities of Iran and its ally, Hezbollah, located at Syrian bases and arms and ammo warehouses. It is very important that almost all Israel's actions have been preventive. Moving transport convoys carrying arms, warehouses where military items were assembled and tested and other Iran's military targets were attacked.
The Iranian military and political leadership has many times reproached the Russian side of taking no actions, conniving and secretly colluding with Israel, insisting that air defense of Russia's Aerospace Forces in Syria protect Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Moscow in turn says there are no relevant interstate agreements that would allow Russia to respond to actions of Israel and other countries.
Obviously, Israel's strikes on Iranian military facilities in Syria will complicate relations between Moscow and Tehran. It is possible that President of Iran Hassan Rouhani will raise this problem at talks with Vladimir Putin in Ankara on September 16. However, this problem is unlikely to be solved in a positive manner without a relevant legal base.
It is likely that the Iranian leadership should first of all give up the policy and practice of military and ideological expansion in Syria and its neighbor, Lebanon, just as harsh hostile rhetoric as far as Israel is concerned. Secondly, the Iranians should seriously think and work comprehensively on the protection of their military secrets. It also shouldn’t make irresponsible actions that entail threats on behalf of Israel.
It should be acknowledged that the Middle East perceives each missile strike on the Iranians in Syria very skeptically and with a great deal of mistrust to Russia, which is allegedly colluding with Israel.