The Implications of the Syrian Base Bombing
- Brig.-Gen. Dr. Shimon Shapira
The bombing of the Syrian T-4 air force base struck an Iranian drone section of the base under exclusive Iranian command. The commander of the drone unit was killed. On Tuesday, Ali Akbar Velayati, the top advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khameini, called the bombing raid on T-4 "Israel's crime" and warned during a visit to Damascus that it "will not remain without response."
The damage to the Iranian target raises the likelihood of a deterioration in the military situation between Iran and Israel. Iran may increase its attempts to strike at Israel via the Golan Heights using Hizbullah and Shiite proxies in Syria.
The writer served as military secretary to the prime minister and as Israel Foreign Ministry chief of staff.
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Israeli Airstrike Stopped New Iranian Threat - Yaakov Lappin
Israel Is Resolved to Prevent Iran's Entrenchment in Syria
- Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin
- The reported airstrike on Monday at the T-4 airbase in Syria is a result of two colliding vectors: Iranian determination to entrench itself in Syria and Israeli resolve to prevent it.
- The strike's timing drove Syria to first attribute it to the U.S. as a response to Assad's use of chemical weapons (CW) against civilians in Douma. However, the target hit is connected to Iran and not to CW.
- It is not from T-4 that the CW-dropping aircraft came, while reports of Iranian casualties are a strong testament.
- That being said, a strike may well serve two purposes, promoting two objectives in a single step: Preventing Iranian entrenchment in Syria with advanced weaponry and sending a moral message that using CW to commit mass murder is not acceptable.
- To that end, even if Israel does not take responsibility for the strike, it is important that Israel make its voice heard denouncing the use of CW.
- Assad's chemical weapons and their use in Syria awaits a U.S. and Western response, and one cannot rule out the possibility of a U.S. strike on regime targets.
- Relevant targets in this context may include Syrian regime helicopters and airplanes enabling CW delivery, as well as Syrian air defenses, whose destruction will remind Assad of his vulnerability.
The writer, former head of IDF Military Intelligence, is director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.