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Home » Report: Iran Boosts Air Defense Network in Syria Amid Israeli Strikes

Report: Iran Boosts Air Defense Network in Syria Amid Israeli Strikes

by Elis Carter
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Iran has reportedly invested tens of billions of dollars in building an aerial defense network in war-torn Syria by deploying personnel and equipment, an unknown intelligence source from a nation allied to the United States told Newsweek. Reports suggest Iran’s new defense mission over the course of the “last two years” is an attempt to counter repeated Israeli airstrikes targeting “Iranian military assets and interests in the Syrian territory.”

The Iranian involvement in Syria dates back to the 2011 civil war, which broke out after anti-government protests were crushed and turned violent. Being one of the key supporters of the Assad regime, Iran funds, equips, and supports a number of Syrian and foreign proxies including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Iran and Israel have long been rivals and engaged in what many describe as a “shadow war.” For years, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets in Syria; however, it rarely admits such operations. Meanwhile Israel has previously acknowledged that it attacks the facilities of Iran-allied Hezbollah  in Syria, which has sent troops to Syria in support of President Bashar Al-Assad. Syria has frequently blamed Israel for the strikes and its state-run media has documented the death of Syrian soldiers and civilians.

The source listed nearly seven Israeli military operations against the rising Iranian network over the past two years. This includes operations in Palmyra and Tartus in October 2021, Latakia in December 2021, Damascus in March 2022, another operation in Tartus in July 2022, and two operations in Homs in November and December 2022. These strikes have killed 10 Iranians in Syria, including two air defense engineers.

The strikes were responsible for the death of the high-profile Iranian Davoud Jafari, also known as “Malek,” a key commander of Iran’s air defense efforts in Syria. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran has vowed staunch retaliation in response to these deaths.

According to the source, Brigadier General Fereydoun Mohammadi Saghaei, the deputy commander of IRGC Aerospace Force, serves as commander of Iran’s air defense project in Syria. “The promotion of these capabilities is carried out as a project shared with the Syrian army and possibly even with the aim of enabling the independent Iranian operation of the aerial defense systems from within parts of Syria.”

“In addition, the Iranians assisted the Syrians in upgrading their radar array, designed to aid in detection and prevention of Israeli attacks—mainly against the Iranian establishment in Syria,” the source told Newsweek.

The source also added that weapons involved in the defense mission include the Bavar-373 surface-to-air missile system paired with the Sayyad 4B solid-propellant missile. Iranian officials have claimed these systems will have a range of more than 186 miles with a radar range of more than 280 miles.

Source : Politics Today

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