Israel carries out air strikes inside Syria

Israel carries out air strikes inside Syria

Syria fired missiles at Israeli warplanes early Friday after a series of Israeli airstrikes inside Syria — a rare military exchange between the two hostile neighbors that was confirmed by both sides.

An escalation of tension during ceasefire negotiations in the Syrian Civil War

Syria fired missiles at Israeli warplanes early Friday after a series of Israeli airstrikes inside Syria — a rare military exchange between the two hostile neighbors that was confirmed by both sides.

This is seen as a serious escalation of tension even though Israel has been largely unaffected by the Syrian civil war raging next door, suffering mostly sporadic incidents of spillover fire that Israel has generally dismissed as tactical errors by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces. Israel has responded with limited reprisals on Syrian positions in response to the errant fire.

What was targeted during the strikes?

  • Both Israeli and other news media have reported Israeli air strikes inside Syria targeting arms convoys of Lebanese group Hezbollah, which fought a 2006 war with Israel and is now fighting alongside the Syrian government.
  • The missile fire prompted air raid sirens to go off in the Jordan Valley during the night.
  • No official comment has been made by Israel regarding the strikes.

What could it mean for the ceasefire negotiations?

All stakeholders in the region are trying to re-reposition themselves to prepare for the expected Russian plan, anticipating an agreement to end the war in Syria.

Israel Prime Minister visited Russia last week and

Syria was the main headline in the meetings. It is believed that Netanyahu is not against internal agreement between Syrian fighting parties, under the Russia plan, which stipulates that Bashar al-Assad stays and the opposition gets limited powers. This is the best solution for Israel: a weak regime and an exhausted opposition.

Assessment

This has been the most serious clash between Israeli and Syrian forces since the start of Syria's civil war six years ago. It has come at a time when various countries under the leadership of Russia are trying to negotiate a ceasefire deal. This escalation in the conflict could put the talks on the back-burner.

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