Iran's entrenchment in Syria set back months after most extensive Israeli strike in decades

After a month of operational delays – some of them due to disruptions caused by Israel – at around midnight on Wednesday night, the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force executed its retaliation plan for the death of seven Iranians when the T4 air base in Syria was bombed on April 9.

But the Iranian reaction was a total flop. Four of its missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system and the rest fell in Syrian territory.

Despite that failure, the Israeli reaction was completely disproportionate: Massive bombing of about 50 Iranian targets in Syria, which probably set back Iran’s effort to establish a military presence there by several months.

Ostensibly, Israel’s harsh response could cause the Iranians to stop and rethink their moves. Israel has already demonstrated its military and intelligence power with the series of strikes attributed to it in recent months. But the scale of Israel’s reaction early Thursday morning was something else entirely.