Israel Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen.Amikam Norkin said Tuesday that Iran launched 32 missiles toward Israel in early May.
“Iran launched 32 missiles and we intercepted 4 of them and the rest fell outside Israeli territory,” Norkin said at the IAF senior Air Force Conference in Herzilya on Tuesday.
The IDF had said earlier that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp’s Quds Force had launched 20 Fajr-5 and Grad missiles towards Israel’s front defensive line in the Golan Heights.
According to Norkin, Syria fired over 100 anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli jets and in response Israel destroyed the anti-aircraft batteries.
Israel struck 50 mainly Iranian targets in Syria in an operation called “House of Cards.”
According to Norkin, Israel has been “managing a campaign against Iranian forces, especially on Israel’s northern border” for the past two years.
Israel had been preparing for a direct attack from the Quds force since mid-April in response for a strike allegedly carried out by the Jewish state against an Iranian operated airbase in Syria which killed seven IRGC soldiers.
“We have been watching what they Iranians were doing around us,” Maj.-Gen. Norkin said. “The Quds Forces set up at the T-4 base, which is some 250 kilometers from Israel. From this base they tried to attack using an armed drone that infiltrated Israel several months ago from our eastern border. After that incident, we identified that they were continuing to store weapons at the base, including aerial defense capabilities that we attacked over the past month.”
The IAF had received extensive intelligence several days earlier about the Quds Force in Syria planning an attack on Israel and carried out a preventative strike on a base in Kisweh outside Damascus, effectively thwarting the attack.
“In recent weeks, we realized Iran had sent missiles and long-range rockets to Syria, including (BM-27) Uragan launchers that we attacked north of Damascus,” Norkin said.
It is believed that due to that strike Iran carried out their backup plan, launching the 32 Fajr-5 and Grad missiles towards Israel at midnight.
The night before the missile salvo, the military instructed local governments to open bomb shelters to residents of the Golan Heights following the identification of “abnormal movements of Iranian forces in Syria.”
The army had raised the preparedness of “troops for an attack” and deployed air defenses in the several locations in the north of the country.
During the Israeli retaliation, the Syrian regime fired dozens of air-defense missiles from Sa2, Sa17, Sa22 and SA5 missile batteries. No Israeli jets were hit and all returned to base safely.
Another senior IAF officer told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that Israeli jets have continued to strike targets in Syria following Operation House of Cards.
“We can assume that there have been strikes since the last events in Syria. We have maintained our freedom of action over Syria” he said during the IAF conference.
Stressing that Israel will continue to carry out airstrikes in the war-torn country the senior IAF officer stated that that Israel will “continue to work with determination to thwart the entrenchment of Iran and the arming of Hezbollah.”
Source » jpost