IDF strikes reported on Hezbollah base in Syria

Strikes near military airport outside Homs reported Thursday; Confirmed Hezbollah base in Syria hit; Iranian missiles targeted and destroyed; Syrian army claims its missile defense “confronted the attacked and prevented it from achieving its aim”.

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Israeli airstrikes in Syria were reported on Thursday evening southwest of Homs near a military airport close to al-Qasr. Reports later confirmed a Hezbollah base in Syria was hit in the strikes.

Large explosions were reported Thursday, with varied reports from Syrian and Hezbollah media on the strikes. Hezbollah initially reported four missiles fired at the al-Dabaa airport, and five Israeli jets in Lebanese airspace.

SANA news agency reported Thursday that “One of our military airports in the central region was exposed to hostile missile aggression,” claiming “our air defense systems confronted the attack and prevented it from achieving its aim.”

On Friday afternoon, the target of the strikes was revealed to be a Hezbollah base in Syria. The strikes reportedly targeted Iranian missiles at the site. The base was known for harboring both Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Forces, as well as would “host multiple militia recruitment centers & training facilities.”

S-200 air defense missiles were fired at the incoming missiles, with no damages reported.

As with most covert operations in Syria, the IDF and Ministry of Defense refused to comment on the reports.

The developments follow strikes on Syrian Army positions in the Deir ez-Zor province early Thursday. Both the Syrian Army and Hezbollah reported US Coalition Air Force strikes on Syrian Army positions. Hezbollah reported strikes on two Syrian army posts and near T2-an energy installation close to the border with Iraq. Syria’s SANA first released reports of the attacks, citing a Syrian army source. It claimed “Some of our military sites between Albu Kamal and Hamimia were exposed at dawn today to aggression launched by US coalition jets.”

A reported 12 militants were killed in the strikes.

The US Military and Pentagon denied the reports, a spokesman for the Central Commander stating “We have no operational reporting of a US-led coalition strike against pro-Syrian regime targets or forces.”

Israel Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin recently confirmed that the IDF continues its operations in Syria since the May 10 confirmed operation on over 15 Iranian bases in Syria. He reported that the IDF is mainly preventing weapons shipments to Hezbollah, as well as on Iranian bases and efforts.

Norkin recently stated that the IDF “has been watching what the Iranians were doing around us. The Quds Force is set up at the T-4 base, which is some 250 kilometers from Israel. From this base they tried to attack using an armed drone that infiltrated Israel several months ago from our eastern border. After that incident, we determined that they were continuing to store weapons at the base, including aerial defense capabilities that we attacked over the past month.”

He added, “In recent weeks, we realized Iran had sent missiles and long-range rockets to Syria, including [BM-27] Uragan launchers that we attacked north of Damascus.”

Amir will address this and much more during his Middle East Current Events Update on Friday, May 25, 2018. Tune in our Facebook page at 7:00 pm (Nashville time). The update will be added to Youtube.

 

Syria reports US-Coalition strikes on military positions

US denies reports from Syria and Hezbollah on strikes in Deir ez-Zor region; Strikes reported on 2 Syrian army posts and near energy installation close to Iraqi border.

Syria accused the United States of carrying out strikes on two of its military positions Thursday morning, the US military denying reports.

Both the Syrian Army and Hezbollah reported US Coalition Air Force strikes on Syrian Army positions in the Deir ez-Zor province early Thursday. Hezbollah initially reported strikes on two Syrian army posts and near T2-an energy installation close to the border with Iraq.

Syria’s SANA first released reports of the attacks, citing a Syrian army source. It claimed “Some of our military sites between Albu Kamal and Hamimia were exposed at dawn today to aggression launched by US coalition jets.”

The US military and Pentagon denied the reports, a spokesman for the Central Commander stating “We have no operational reporting of a US-led coalition strike against pro-Syrian regime targets or forces.”

 

 

 

Photo: US fighter jets, Wikimedia Commons, 2018.

Israel to participate in Saber Strike 18 exercise in June

US-European exercise to include Israel this year; IAF announces conference this week to be attended by 20 countries; Conference to focus on strengthening international partnerships, IAF technology and aerial power.

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Israel will participate in the Saber Strike 18 security cooperation exercise in June.

It will be the first time Israel participates in the exercise to take place for close to two weeks. This year’s exercises will be held in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The Saber Strike is a “U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise that helps facilitate cooperation amongst the U.S., Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and allied and partner nations.” It will also focus on integrating NATO forces from Multinational Corps.

This year’s exercise will include air assault operations as well as “bridge and river crossing operations to support freedom of movement”. A reported 20 countries will participate and over 18,000 soldiers. Participants this year include NATO forces, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Israel Air Force announced it will host an international conference to be attended by over 20 countries this week. The 3-day conference will include several locations throughout Israel and will focus on aerial power, technology of the IAF and strengthening international partnerships.

The IDF stated that the goals of the conference are “… to establish aerial power as a source of stability. We’re going to emphasize our technology and values in the IAF. We see this conference as a platform to build and strengthen our partnerships internationally. And last, probably the most important one, is our goal basically to connect these important partners to the State of Israel, to the IDF, and to the air force.”

The IDF reported some of the participants this year, including the United States, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Holland, Italy, India and Romania.

 

Hamas head: Iran providing money, equipment and expertise.

Sinwar gives interview boasting on Hamas relations with Hezbollah and reporting that Iran provides “money, equipment and expertise”; Sinwar: Our relations with the Islamic Republic are excellent.

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Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar gave a televised interview on Tuesday, admitting that Iran’s “money, equipment, and expertise” continue to assist the Hamas, as well as boasting about strong ties with Hezbollah.

Sinwar gave the interview with Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen, speaking on the “March of the Great Return” and Hamas “successes” over the past weeks. When asked if there would be “unprecedented surprises” from the Strip if the IDF were to launch a military attack, Sinwar responded, citing Iran’s support over the years as which have “allowed for great development of our capabilities”.

He stated “Our resistance in the Gaza Strip has greatly developed its capabilities first and foremost thanks to Allah, but also with the help of the righteous free men of our nation- first and foremost the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has provided the Al-Qassam Brigades and the other factions of the resistance a lot of money, equipment, and expertise, even before the Israeli aggression, but especially after it. It has provided us a lot of resources, which allowed for great development of our capabilities.”

He praised Iran, its military corps (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) and head military officer Qasem Soleimani, reporting relations as “very strong, powerful, and warm.” He added “Our relations with the Islamic Republic are excellent.”

On its relations with Hezbollah in Lebanon, he stated “We have excellent relations with our brothers in Hezbollah. Our relations with them are extremely developed. We work together and coordinate and are in touch on an almost daily basis. The relations are at the best stage ever.”

 

 

 

Photo: Sinwar, CC, 2018

 

IDF carried out strikes on Hamas tunnel and naval forces

Tenth tunnel found in Gaza Strip this year; IDF confirms strikes on naval targets in response to infiltration Tuesday, as well as on underground infrastructure; Lieberman: Hamas leaders to internalize that their military project is a failure and invest resources in improving the lives of Gaza residents.

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The Israel Air Force carried out airstrikes on Hamas targets including an underground infrastructure and naval forces in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday.

The IDF’s strikes were in response to infiltration efforts, as well as drone and arson kite attacks on Tuesday, as the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continue their “Great March of Return” which began on March 30, 2018. Palestinian militants infiltrated Israel on Tuesday, setting an IDF sniper post on fire before returning to the Strip. IDF forces responded with tank fire, securing the border breach.

The IDF Spokesperson Unit confirmed the events Wednesday morning stating, “IAF [Israel Air Force] aircraft struck underground Hamas terror infrastructure in northern Gaza, as well as two additional military targets that belong to the terror organization’s naval force. The strikes were in response to the event that took place yesterday morning, when a number of terrorists infiltrated Israel and set a military post on fire,” as well as “ongoing attempts to dispatch drones and kites, with the intention of conducting terrorist activity and setting Israeli territory on fire.”

It reiterated that Hamas continues to be held responsible for any and all aggression from the Strip, it stating “The IDF is determined to fulfill its mission to protect Israeli civilians. The Hamas terror organization is accountable for all threats originating from the Gaza Strip, above and below ground, and will bear the consequences for its actions against Israeli civilians and Israeli sovereignty.”

Palestinian media reported that a Hamas military training site and two naval police stations were destroyed in the IAF strikes.

On Wednesday morning, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on “Hamas leaders to internalize that their military project is a failure and invest resources in improving the lives of Gaza residents.”

Nearly two weeks ago, the IDF destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel in the Gaza, the ninth tunnel found and destroyed this year alone. The tunnel ran close to the Erez border crossing used predominantly for humanitarian aid, the IDF using “advanced technology, the IDF was able to locate, track, and destroy the half-mile-long terror tunnel.”

 

 

Photo: IDF fighter jet, Wikimedia Commons, 2018. 

Israel first country to use F-35 jet in combat

IAF commander confirms Israel first to use F-35 jets in strikes, shows photos of jets above Beirut; Norkin: We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East and have already attacked twice on two different fronts.

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The Israel Air Force was the first country to use the F-35 stealth jet in combat.

Speaking during a conference in Herzliya on Monday, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin confirmed that Israel used the F-35 jets in two separated operations, showing photos of them in action above Beirut. He stated, “We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East. It had become part of our operational capabilities. We are the first to attack using the F-35 in the Middle East and have already attacked twice on different fronts.”

He also confirmed that Iran continued to store weapons on the T-4 airbase after the attacks by the IDF and that Iran fired 32 missiles at Israel from Syria in early May, not 20 like reported in the media. He stated that the IDF “intercepted 4 of them and the rest fell outside Israeli territory.”

The F-35, called “Adir” in Israel, meaning “mighty, is capable of carrying over 16 tons of bombs and missiles and is most unique for having the most advanced stealth technology of any aircraft. The F-35 is also Israel’s solution to the S-300, as it is capable of evading the air defense system.

Israel is the first country aside from the United States to acquire the world’s most advanced fighter jets. Israel received nine F-35’s total. Israel is set to receive a total of 50 F-35’s after Israel’s security cabinet approved the $1.5 billion purchases as part of the United States and Israel’s Memorandum of Understanding.

 

 

Photo: The F-35, Wikimedia Commons, 2018.

Paraguay opens its embassy in Jerusalem

Paraguay third state to open embassy in Jerusalem following USA and Guatemala; Cartes on embassy move: we decided to put things in their right place. We don’t owe you anything and you don’t owe us anything. This is just the right thing to do.

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Following the United States and Guatemala, Paraguay officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem on Monday morning.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin both attended the opening ceremony alongside President Horacio Cartes in Jerusalem ahead of a reception to be held this evening by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During his speech congratulating Paraguay’s historic move, Netanyahu referred to its history of supporting the Jewish state for most of his speech. He stated “Paraguay helped Jews escape Nazi Germany. We will never forget this. You did this before the Holocaust, during the Holocaust and after the Holocaust. It was an act of benevolence and mercy that is forever etched in our hearts.”

Specifically on Paraguay’s support during the creation of the State of Israel, the prime minister stated “Paraguay supported the creation of the State of Israel, the recognition of the State of Israel in the United Nations. We will never forget that. Paraguay, before but especially under your leadership, took a very bold stance in international affairs and refused to cooperate with the lies directed against Israel. We always remember that… And because of this, you have not only the support of our government but the profound gratitude of the people of Israel. We remember our friends. We have no better friends than you.”

President Cartes spoke of his country’s strong relations with the Jewish State, stating on the historic relocation of his embassy as having “profound significance in the sense that it expresses Paraguay’s sincere friendship and full solidarity with Israel.”

Cartes praised Israel’s strong economy and defense, stating “I appreciate this country that courageously defends its right to live in peace and it is building a praiseworthy economically prosperous state that ensures its future and that of its children.” He stated on the reason for moving the embassy “we decided to put things in their right place. We don’t owe you anything and you don’t owe us anything. This is just the right thing to do.”

Guatemala officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem last Wednesday following the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem last Monday. A ceremony was held at the Guatemalan Embassy attended by officials and diplomats from both states, President Jimmy Morales and Prime Minister Netanyahu both giving speeches commemorating the historic move.

The Czech Republic, Honduras and Romania have all announced they will also relocate their embassies to Jerusalem as well.

 

 

 

NEWS: Netanyahu and Cartes at opening ceremony Monday, Screenshot, 2018