‘Israel targeted Iranian-manned military facility’

Western government source claims airstrike in Syria directed at installations staffed by Revolutionary Guard personnel

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

An unnamed Western government source claimed Sunday that Israel’s alleged airstrike in Syria early Sunday targeted sensitive military installations, including those staffed by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The report, carried by pro-Israel news site The Tower, was unconfirmed.

According to unnamed Israeli and American sources, Israeli planes struck sites outside Damascus early Friday, and again early Sunday, targeting weapons transfers from Iran to Hezbollah.

An Israeli official told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that both strikes were carried out to thwart weapons transfers from Iran to Hezbollah, which would have given the Lebanese terror group a new missile capability.

“We are not taking sides and we’re not interested in interfering in the internal affairs of Syria,” the senior Israeli official said. “But we have to make sure these weapons do not fall into the hands of Hezbollah, because the minute that happens, it will be hard to track and monitor them. That’s the only reason we interfered. If we don’t take action now, we will be on the receiving end of those missiles. We have to act to guarantee our security, and that applies to Syria and Iran.”

Also Sunday, Iranian army ground forces commander Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said Tehran was ready to support Syria and offer it aid in case of further Israeli strikes.

“Syria has a powerful army and with the structure and experience it has against the Zionist regime it can definitely defend itself and there is no need for intervention by other countries,” said Pourdastan, according to the Iranian semi-official Fars News Network. “But, if they do need training, we can help them,” he added.

In Syria, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad warned Sunday that recent Israeli airstrikes on facilities near Damascus constituted an Israeli “declaration of war.”

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