The July 2 Israeli airstrikes on Syria targeted an attempt by Iran to deploy “game changing” air-defense systems in the war-torn country, Israel’s Channel 12 reported on July 3.
According to the news channel, the location of the airstrikes, which targeted the Syrian town of al-Hamidiyah near the port city of Tartus, “implies that it [targeted] a weapon transported by sea, possibly using Iranian ships that docked at the port last week”.
Channel 12 added that the airstrikes came amid “a new move by the Iranians in Syria to bring in air defense system to protect their military interests”. The network provided no source.
Syria said that the airstrike destroyed small poultry farms in the outskirts of the town of the al-Hamidiyah, which was confirmed later via geolocation. The airstrikes wounded two civilians who lived next to the farms. Footage from the scene of the airstrike showed no remains of military equipment.
Channel 12 assumption was likely built on the basis of a recent report by al-Arabiya TV, which said that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is building its own air-defense network in Syria as a part of a joint project with the Syrian Arab Army. According to the said report, some Iranian air-defense systems has been already deployed in Syria.
It’s worth noting that London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that Lebanon’s Hezbollah used to store weapons at the targeted poultry farms before smuggling them into Lebanon.
The recent reports of Channel 12 and the SOHR are clearly meant to justify the Israeli airstrikes on al-Hamidiyah, which may have been just a message from Tel Aviv to Damascus.