Israeli Air force allegedly strikes a Hezbollah-Iranian air base near Damascus
Explosions were reported south of Damascus on Tuesday, shortly after the Israeli army announced it believes Iran is planning to carry out an imminent strike from Syria.
An Assad commander said Israeli fighter jets struck a Syria army position south of Damascus, adding that there were no casualties. Syrian state media reported that Syrian air defenses fired at two Israeli missiles, destroying both in the Kiswah area.
Earlier, the IDF ordered communities in the northern Golan Heights, near the Israel-Syria border, to open shelters to the public after identifying “unusual movements” of Iranian forces in Syria.
The IDF has detected irregular Iranian activity in Syria and is preparing the civilian population on the Golan Heights accordingly, as well as defensive systems. Any aggression against Israel will be met with a severe response, the IDF Spokesman’s Unit said in a statement.
The IDF believes Iran is making efforts to carry out an imminent retaliation against Israel. Intelligence officers and other specialized forces have been called up, though reserve combat units have not been drafted.
CNN reported that Pentagon officials are concerned about signs that Iran might be preparing a military strike against Israel from Syria.
Israeli military bases were preparing for a possible Iranian attack.
Israel believes Iran is determined to retaliate for the April 9 airstrike on Syria’s T4 airbase, which killed seven Iranian military advisers and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Iran blames Israel for this attack.
The IDF said any Iranian strike against Israel will be met with a severe response, even as the working assumption is that Iran is has limited capabilities to engage in conflict with Israel.
Earlier, the U.S. Embassy in Israel issued an alert warning all U.S. government employees not travel to the Golan Heights unless they obtain an approval in advance.
“Due to the recent tensions in the region, until further notice, U.S. government employees are required to obtain advance approval if they wish to travel to the Golan Heights,” the warning on the website read.
U.S. government employees are asked to “maintain situational awareness” and monitor media to be up to date with the situation on Israel’s Northern front. They are further encouraged to visit the website of Israel’s Home Front Command for guidance.