Lebanese soldiers inspect remains of a Syrian surface-to-air missile that had apparently been fired at Israeli jets during an extensive air campaign against Iranian targets in Syria, which landed in the southern Lebanese village of Hebarieh, on May 10, 2018. (Ali Dia/AFP)
Israel’s predawn retaliatory airstrike campaign on Thursday primarily targeted dozens of Iranian bases, command centers and weapons caches in Syria, but along the way Israeli jets dealt a crushing blow to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s already severely weakened air defenses.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, shortly after midnight, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s al-Quds Force launched 20 Grad and Fajr-5 rockets from southern Syria at Israeli military positions on the Golan Heights, following weeks of threats from Tehran to attack the Jewish state for a number of airstrikes against Iranian forces in Syria in recent months that were attributed to Israel.
Israeli officials, who had repeatedly warned that the IDF would respond aggressively to any Iranian attack, ordered widespread reprisal raids, hitting Tehran-linked positions in southern, central and northern Syria.