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May 16, 2022 4:49 pm

Israel Pledges to Stop Iran From Transferring ‘Advanced Capabilities’ to Regional Proxies

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during an election campaign rally in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel, February 25, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Corinna Kern

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday pledged that Israel will stave off attempts by Iran to route “advanced capabilities” to its proxies in the region.

“We will continue to act against anyone who threatens us and we will prevent the transfer of advanced capabilities from Iran that endanger the citizens of Israel and harm the stability of the entire region,” Gantz vowed during a visit to the IDF’s Northern Command, which took place amid a large-scale exercise launched by the military last week to train against a multifront war with Israel’s enemies.

The month-long training, dubbed “Chariots of Fire,” simulates combat scenarios in the air, at sea, on land, and on the cyber front.

“We are preparing for different scenarios against our enemies in the various arenas, and against Hezbollah and Hamas, which also operates from Lebanon,” Gantz announced. “The combination of training, operational activity, and strengthening civil resilience makes up our complete concept of protecting the north and the entire State of Israel.”

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Gantz’s comments follow reports on Friday that Israel was allegedly behind an airstrike targeting a weapons production site at a central air defense base in the Masyaf area in northwest Syria. According to Syria’s news agency, SANA, the country’s air defense systems confronted “Israeli missile aggression.”

The Israeli defense research center Alma called the airstrike a “major attack.”

“In the area there is a compound of the CERS [Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center] Institute, which has been attacked in the past and is involved in the precision missile project for Hezbollah,” tweeted the research center, which focuses on security challenges on Israel’s northern border. “Also in the area are ​​warehouse complexes and bases used by the Shiite axis. Next to Masyaf are S-300 anti-aircraft batteries, which were transferred from the Russians to the Syrian army in 2018.”

During the airstrike on Friday, a Russian S-300 fired missiles at IDF jets for the first time since Israel began striking targets in Syria, Israel’s Channel 13 reported on Monday. The missiles did not pose a threat to the aircraft, according to the outlet.

Earlier this month, an airstrike was reported in the area of ​​Deir a-Zor in eastern Syria, near the island of Hawija Katea on the Euphrates river, allegedly targeting sites belonging to pro-Iranian militias.

“The attack was carried out against radical Shiite axis targets. Among other things attacked was a dirt embankment bridge over the Euphrates river,” according to the Alma center.

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