Israeli Raids on Syria Aim to Undermine Victories

Israeli Raids on Syria Aim to Undermine Victories Israeli Raids on Syria Aim to Undermine Victories

Israeli airstrikes on Syrian Army positions in southern Syria are intended to encourage terrorists who are on the decline and undermine a chain of victories by Syrian troops, a parliamentarian said.

In the latest incident, an Israeli warplane struck a Syrian Army post in Quneitra Province on Friday, allegedly responding to stray fire from Syria hitting the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Valiollah Nanvakenari also told ICANA on Saturday that the attacks come at a time when Syrian troops accompanied by allied forces have given terrorist groups such as the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group a "sharp slap" and are moving forward to restore peace and security to the Syrian nation.

In the past few months, Syrian troops have carried out operations to retake huge parts of the Arab country from the IS, and are currently heading toward Deir al-Zor Province to lift a siege that started in 2014.    

IS is also being defeated in neighboring Iraq, where its last stronghold, Mosul, was mostly liberated this week.

  Bid to Sabotage Anti-Terror Fight  

"Noticing that IS is on the verge of collapse, Israelis are trying to divert the Syrian Army's anti-terror campaign," the lawmaker said, describing the attempts as "childish".

"Israel and also the US are intervening to change the course of the war, undercut Syria's successes and [eventually] break the chain of its victories," said Nanvakenari, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.

The Friday attack was the fourth against Syrian positions in a week, as Syrian troops are repelling an offensive by Ahrar Al-Sham and Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra (rebranded to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) in Quneitra bordering the Golan Heights.

"In response to the projectile launched earlier today at Israel from Syria, an Israel air force aircraft targeted the Syrian Army position that fired the mortar," AFP quoted the Israeli military as claiming in a statement.

"The errant projectile was a result of internal fighting in Syria."

Israel has conducted several airstrikes in Syria since the start of the conflict in 2011, a number of which it has claimed had been against arms convoys or warehouses of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.

Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu had said on Wednesday the regime would respond to any attack from Syria.

"We are not interfering in the bloody conflict in Syria ... but we are determined to respond firmly and forcefully to any violation of our sovereignty."

Netanyahu's remarks contradicted the widely-believed notion that Israel lends a helping hand to militants fighting theSyrian government.

One of the latest proofs came earlier this week, when the Wall Street Journal reported that Israel has provided significant amounts of cash, food, fuel and medical supplies to militants for years, citing "half a dozen rebels and three people familiar with Israel's thinking".

  Significant Escalation

During the last several weeks, the US has also hit Syrian troops three times, shot down a pro-government aircraft and eliminated several drones near Al Tanf in southeastern Syria.

The attacks, which were widely seen as first direct US efforts to change the status quo, were against targets the US claimed were posing a threat to US-backed forces in the area.

They marked a significant escalation of tensions between Washington and Damascus, and drew a threat of reciprocal response.

On Monday, the White House claimed it has found out the Syrian military is preparing to conduct a chemical weapons attack, warning it would "pay a heavy price" if it did so.

However, on Thursday, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said "it appears that they took the warning seriously" and "didn't do it", without providing any evidence.


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