Israel is reportedly considering launching an air strike against an Iranian listening post near Syria’s border with the Golan Heights, Britain’s Sunday Times reported.
According to the report, based on a single unnamed military source, should Israel launch a new strike against Syria, one of the targets would be a heavily fortified Iranian intelligence station near the town of Daraa, which it places as some seven miles from the border with Israel.
“We know they [the Iranians] are monitoring our army communication, gathering intelligence and trying to log into our military computers,” the unnamed Israeli source told The Sunday Times. “This is a serious problem for our forces.”
Last week, Israeli planes launched a strike against Syria, hitting a weapons convoy headed for Lebanon, according to foreign media reports. Syria’s state news agency reported a “research complex” north of Damascus had been hit, broadcasting images of the damage on Saturday.
Israel has not admitted responsibility for the attacks, though the US hinted at Israeli involvement on Friday.
Iran and the Syrian regime share close military ties, with Tehran reportedly supplying arms and know-how to the Syrian army. A defected Syrian general told the Associated Press last week that the destroyed research complex regularly had Iranian and Russian advisers on site.
The Sunday Times story also reports, citing an unnamed source “close to military planners,” that Jerusalem is considering creating a buffer zone 10 miles inside Syrian territory, which it would patrol with infantry and tank units.
The buffer would be used to keep the Syrian civil war from spilling over into Israel, and also keep jihadist elements within the rebel forces from gaining access to Israel’s border. The IDF has in the past shot at the Syrian army in retaliation for mortars landing inside Israel.
A UN-patrolled demilitarized buffer zone already exists between Syria and the Golan Heights. The report does not explain if the Israeli buffer zone would replace the United Nations DMZ.
In 2007, Israeli jets destroyed a Syrian nuclear facility, according to foreign media reports. Jerusalem has also never admitted responsibility for that strike.