Very early Sunday morning last week residents of northeastern Israel again woke up to the sound of low-flying fighter jets.
Five Israeli warplanes flew toward Mount Hermon on the border with Syria after the buzzing sound of a drone had been audible prior to the arrival of the jets.
Once the planes arrived above the Golan Heights, their lights were extinguished and moments later the roar of the engines faded away.
A short time later the aircraft, probably of the F-151 type, were returning from their mission and were spotted heading to the south of Israel.
Because this pattern has repeated itself dozens of times over the last few years, the conclusion was obvious that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) had again carried out an airstrike against targets in the area around the Syrian capital Damascus, which is close to Mount Hermon.
Foreign media on the IAF attack
Arab media were the first to publish details of the attack on “a residential area” in Damascus that reportedly killed 15 people.
Western media subsequently indulged in copycat journalism and used reports by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) about the Israeli strike, claiming a building was hit housing “Iranian military installations.”
Before we get into what really happened, let’s talk about using SOHR as a source for news about Syria, and about media reporting on Syria in general.
The ‘organization’ does indeed operate from London and, according to its own statements, uses a network of contacts in Syria.
However, critics of SOHR’s use as a source for mainstream media reports about Syria say the ‘organization’ consists of one man only. The Syrian state media is also completely unreliable and only publishes propaganda.
The problem here is that only a few large and reliable news organizations are still active in Syria, while the state-controlled media in the country is nothing but a mouthpiece for the Assad regime.
In this case, foreign media reporting on the incident focused on the fact that a residential area in Damascus had been attacked and that at least 15 people were reportedly killed, so Israel inflicted a new humanitarian drama in the war-torn country.
Now let’s look at what, in all likelihood, actually happened.
Reuters published a more detailed report on Wednesday, February 22, with two Arabic-speaking journalists from the news organization speaking to people familiar with the situation on the ground during the IAF attack and who revealed more details.
According to these Reuters sources, a meeting was being held in the building over Iran’s program of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and guided missiles when it was hit by IAF missiles.
This meeting was attended by, among others, engineers from Iran and Syria, while images released after the IAF attack also showed that the lower part of the building was heavily damaged by the missiles.
The Reuters sources confirmed that the attack targeted the basement of the building where the meeting was held, while other witnesses said officials from Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attended the meeting, where the further development of the guided missiles and UAV program of Hezbollah was on the agenda.
An unnamed Israeli official told Reuters that some of the victims were hit by Syrian surface-to-air missiles that missed their targets, and by revealing this actually admitted that Israel was behind the attack.
Israeli intelligence agencies such as Mossad and AMAN, the intelligence branch of the IDF, almost always have accurate information about what’s happening in Iran, Iraq and Syria.
MABAM and Iran’s nuclear program
The latest IAF activities in Syria are part of the so-called MABAM campaign of the Israeli army.
This campaign, dubbed a “war between wars” in Hebrew, against Iran and its growing imperialist aggression in the region and beyond has escalated recently.
This escalation, in turn, cannot be seen in isolation from the worrying developments surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency recently found that Iran has now enriched uranium hexafluoride up to the 84 percent level, according to the US news agency Bloomberg.
This level is only six percent below the so-called breakout capacity of 90 percent and can bring Iran into the group of countries that passed the nuclear threshold within a very short time.
When that happens, Iran can produce at least two or even four nuclear warheads considering its current stockpile of highly enriched uranium.
Experts say it will take Iran up to two years to produce these warheads and mount them on a ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel.
However, Iran has previously been caught testing detonators for a nuclear weapon at the Parchin military complex, and nobody seems to know whether or not the fanatical regime has conducted more work on the production of a nuclear warhead.
The regime in Tehran has now admitted that it has enriched uranium to 84 percent after the IAEA demanded clarifications from Iran.
Increased IAF activity
These developments, together with the repeated threats that the regime in Iran will destroy Israel and the MABAM campaign, have recently led to significantly increased IAF activity in Israeli airspace.
In the context of preparations for possible military action against Iran, the budget of the Israeli army was also increased again this week.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also held a series of five meetings with top IDF, IAF, Mossad and AMAN officials recently to discuss military action against Iran, according to Channel 12 News.
Two weeks ago Iran further stepped up its psychological war against Israel by publishing a photo of a ballistic missile with the Hebrew text: Mavet L’Yisrael (Death to Israel) written on it.
Netanyahu responded to this and other recent Iranian provocations by saying that the only thing that can hold off rogue regimes from reaching nuclear weapons capacity is to develop a credible military threat or to take military action.
The latter now seems to be in the final stages of preparation as the unusually high number of IAF activities in Israel’s airspace last week seemed to indicate.
In Iran, meanwhile, two fresh explosions at the nuclear facility followed by anti-aircraft fire by local IRG batteries were reported last Thursday night.
Regime-controlled media claimed the explosions were part of a drill, but Western media outlets pointed to Israeli OSINT reports that showed the two blasts at the Karaj nuclear plant.
Those reports clearly indicated that the plant was targeted again just like in 2021 when Mossad used quadcopter UAVs to sabotage the nuclear work at Karaj.
Eyewitnesses in Iran, furthermore, reported that the IRG “fired at a drone” shortly after the blasts.
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