After years of presumed Israeli air-strikes on Iranian forces in Syria, the IDF finally carried out air-strikes that were publicly acknowledged Aug. 24, hitting a compound near Damascus supposedly shared by the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force and Hezbollah militants. Three were said to be killed in the attack, suposedly launched to head off a planned Quds Force drone attack on West Bank settlements. (Jerusalem Post) Two days later, an Israeli drone struck a supposed compounds of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), a Damascus-aligned faction, in Beirut and the Bekaa Valley. Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun called the attacks a “declaration of war.” (Jerusalem Post)
These strikes come just after the dubious Israeli website Debka (supposedly linked to the intelligence establishment) claimed that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad had a lengthy direct phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “mediated by the Kremlin and greenlighted by the White House.” In the call, the two leaders supposedly reached terms for Israeli military operations in Syria. Under the terms, Israel will be free to strike Iranian targets in Syria in exchange for diplomatic assistance in regional normalization of the Assad regime. (Syria Call)
Debka is by no means a reliable source, but the far more credible Haaretz also reported after the air-strikes that there is an “undeclared pact between Netanyahu and Putin…that Israel can go after Iran’s offensive capacities when these threaten Israel.” Haaretz likewise reported in March that secret talks were underway between Netanyahu and Damascus, in which a phased Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights is being offered in exchange for Assad pushing Iran out of Syria.