Israel said it struck military facilities in Syria to prevent suspected planned attacks from Iranian forces, raising the risk of a clash with Tehran amid a broader Israeli campaign to counter the military activities of the Islamic Republic.
Israel’s military said it dispatched jet fighters late Saturday to strike facilities belonging to Iran’s elite Quds Force and Shiite Iranian-backed militias in the village of Aqraba in Syria, southeast of Damascus. The strikes prevented what Israeli officials described as an Iranian attempt to launch explosive-armed drones from the Syrian military facilities at targets in northern Israel.
The use of so-called “killer drones” would have marked a significant escalation in Iran’s efforts to strike inside Israel, Israeli military officials said. “These killer drones are capable of striking targets with significant accuracy,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman.
Col. Conricus said Israel had information that Iran’s Quds Force was initially planning to launch the attack on Thursday. Iranian forces attempted to launch rockets and missiles at Israel from Syria three times last year, he said.