By Middle East Affairs
Though Israel hasn’t confirmed or denied carrying out an airstrike overnight Sunday against an Iranian base in Syria, Lebanese al-Mayadeen channel reports that Iran’s top adviser to the supreme leader threatened that Israel should expect a response.
Adviser Ali Akbar Velayati said the strike on the T-4 air base near Homs that killed 14 people, seven of them Iranian, was “Israel’s crime” and would not “remain without a response.”
Syria, Iran and Russia have each accused Israel of being responsible for the attack. Russian military said two Israeli F-15 war planes from within Lebanese airspace delivered airstrikes on the base, according to Interfax news agency.
Interfax cited the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that Syrian air defense systems had shot down five of the eight missiles fired, but that the other landed on the western side of the base.
Lebanese military also stated Monday that four Israeli planes violated Lebanon’s airspace, according to Haaretz. The planes flew east over the coastal town of Jounieh and toward the city of Baalbek near the Syrian border, the statement said, and that they stayed in Lebanese airspace for about 10 minutes, beginning at 3:25 a.m.
Israel considers Iran to be its biggest foe in the region and has repeatedly warned against its presence in Syria, worried the Iranian military is looking to establish itself near the border with Israel. On Monday, United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said the air base strike and other recent events in Syria would indicative of a “situation of uncontrollable escalation,” Reuters reported.