On April 25, the French outlet TTU reported that Israel is seeking to block Iran from using Syrian air bases to launch unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). According to the report, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already undertaken certain measures.
TTU links this speculation with the recent escalation of tensions between Iran and Israel in Syria.
Recently, Tehran condemned the April 9 air strike by the “Zionist regime” against its forces deployed in the T4 airbase in Syria’s Homs. According to reports, at least 7 Iranian servicemen, including an officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were killed in those strike by Israel. The killed officer was allegedly a specialist in the UAVs field.
On April 13, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement that the Iranian UAV that had allegedly penetrated Israeli airspace on February 10 had been armed with explosives. According to the IDF, the UAV was en route to carry out an attack within Israel before it was shot down.
TTU stated that it could serve as another confirmation that Iran has capabilities of using combat UAVs to attack Israeli forces in response to the T4 airbase strike.
According to TTU, Israel is concerned over the spread of the Iranian UAV technologies across the region. Over the last years, Iran has allegedly delivered its UAVs to Iraq, Hezbollah and allied forces in Syria.
For example, Hamaseh is an Iranian reconnaissance and combat UAV. It weights 440 kg and can capable of carrying about 45 to 60 kg [electronic systems and missiles] with the operating range of 200 km.
According to the Israeli officer, quoted by TTU, “Iranians assured that they have UAV for strike operations, although this equipment is not so precise as they claim”. The official stated that these combat UAVs pose a threat to Israeli strategic points, such as military bases, power plants and other infrastructure. So, these UAVs are a “legal” target.