The Yeshiva World
Israel’s IDF stated on Thursday that it is sending reinforcements to the northern border due to threats by Hezbollah to retaliate the death of its operative in airstrikes on Monday attributed to Israel.
“In light of a situational assessment of the IDF, a decision was made to send pinpoint reinforcement of forces to the Northern Command,” the IDF stated.
Airstrikes on military posts on the outskirts of Damascus on Monday targeting pro-Iranian militias killed at least five Quds Force members and wounded at least eleven, including seven soldiers of the Syrian Air Force’s Air Defense Force. Hezbollah claimed that Israel also killed one of its members in the strike – Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad – and has threatened to retaliate against Israel for his death.
A Beirut-based diplomat told Reshet Bet on Thursday that Hezbollah will almost definitely carry out its threat of retaliation but its response will be limited. Lebanon is on the verge of economic collapse and Hezbollah is not interested in an all-out war with Israel at the present time.
Iran-backed Hezbollah has vowed in the past to retaliate for any fighter that Israel kills in Syria. The group fired a barrage of anti-tank missiles into Israel on Sept. 1 last year after two of its fighters were killed in an Israeli airstrike near Damascus days earlier.
That prompted a reprisal of heavy Israeli artillery fire.
Israel did not comment on this week’s strike and generally refrains from discussing its activities in neighboring Syria. But it is believed to have carried out hundreds of strikes against pro-Iranian forces during the nearly decade-long civil war.
Tehran has sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters in the past years to fight alongside Syrian government forces.
Israel views Iran as a regional menace and has vowed to prevent any permanent Iranian military buildup in Syria, particularly near its frontier.