Israel behind airstrike in Syria, US official says
An airstrike close to the Iraq-Syria border Sunday was carried out by Israel, and not by the US or the coalition fighting ISIS, a US official tells CNN.
Syrian state TV blamed the strike that targeted syrian army and caused multiple casualties on the US-led coalition combating the terrorist group, but a spokesman for the coalition said there were no coalition strikes in the area near Abu Kamal.
The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the strike, per its normal policy.
Israel has repeatedly warned that it would target Iranian-linked groups in Syria.
“We will take action – and are already taking action – against efforts to establish a militarily presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria both close to the border and deep inside Syria. We will act against these efforts anywhere in Syria,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at a cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the weekend, two of the key players in influencing Israel’s policy and actions over Syria.
Sunday’s strike was very different from those normally attributed to Israel. Generally, strikes by Israel occur in the western region of Syria, principally in the area around Damascus and Homs. Recently, these strikes have targeted Iran’s infrastructure and military presence in Syria, which Israel has staunchly opposed.