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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
This morning around Damascus: * IED attack claimed by Abu Amara Brigade (rebels) against a secret police HQ * Israeli air strikes south of Damascus, apparently in al-Kisweh confirmed by regime outlet SANA. Quite unprecedented:Israel mostly strikes at night
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Elizabeth Tsurkov
Israeli strikes caused a Mahan Air flight to turn back, but now it is trying to return to Damascus again. Credit: and Iran routinely uses Mahan Air to deliver weapons to Syria
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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
Israeli strikes apparently prevent Mahan Air fight from landing in Damascus and it is now over Iraq. Via and
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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
Likely in response to Syrian Anti-Aircraft fire toward Israeli jet(s) striking around Damascus
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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
Summary: * Israel bombed targets near Damascus causing a Mahan Air flight to return to Iran. A rare day-time attack. * Regime's air defenses fired at Israeli jet(s). * AA missile entered air space of occupied Hermon. * Israeli air defense launched 2 intercepting missiles
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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
Context of Israeli strikes on Iranian targets/weapon shipments in Syria in my recent piece for
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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
Israel's leadership recently became more willing to acknowledge strikes in Syria. Israel wants to send a message to Iran & Hezbollah, which rightly feel victorious in Syria & wider region, esp following US withdrawal announcement from Syria.
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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
Israeli officials express satisfaction about preventing Syria from becoming a staging ground for Iran: Tehran apparently gave up on establishing permanent bases in Syria or sending even larger numbers of foreign Shia fighters there
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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
However, Iran today is arguably in the best strategic & military position its been since 1979: Hezbollah is much better-armed today than in 2006 & its fighters are combat-tested. Weapon shipments will continue. Iran in 2019 has greater influence in the Levant than in 2011.
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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
Replying to @Elizrael
Surreal footage from today's incident. Israeli anti-missile systems launch interceptors toward a Syrian anti-aircraft missile over skiers in the Hermon Mount resort. Video by Elad Ben Moshe
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Elizabeth Tsurkov 20 Jan 19
Replying to @AAhronheim
According to the IDF, the Syrians fired a surface-to-surface missile following the (failed) attempts to shoot down Israeli jets. The Iron Dome system intercepted this missile, not the anti-aircraft missiles fired by the BUK system. (h/t )
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