Syria’s Anti-Daesh Allies Vow to Respond to Alleged Israeli, US Aggression Over Palmyra

© REUTERS / OMAR SANADIKIHezbollah and Syrian flags flutter on a military vehicle in Western Qalamoun, Syria August 28, 2017.
Hezbollah and Syrian flags flutter on a military vehicle in Western Qalamoun, Syria August 28, 2017. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.10.2021
At least one soldier was killed and three others injured in what the Syrian military says was an Israeli attack in the skies above Palmyra, Syria shortly before midnight on Wednesday. The Israeli military, which has previously admitted to carrying out “hundreds” of strikes against its neighbour, did not comment on the strikes.
A war room coordinating operation between the Syrian army, Hezbollah, and military advisors from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has reportedly vowed to respond to Wednesday night’s aerial attack outside Palmyra.
In a statement published on Thursday morning and attributed to the command of the Allied Operations Room of Syria, the war room indicated that its forces’ presence in Syria at the invitation of the country’s government has so far been limited only to helping Damascus take on an array of “terrorists and the takfiri project led by Daesh” (ISIS).*
“For years, we have been subjected to attacks from the Israeli and American enemy in an attempt to drag us into side battles that were not a priority for our presence in Syria. The Zionists’ excuse [for the attacks] was that they were targeting precision weapons and sensitive equipment that posed a threat to their usurping entity,” the statement said.
“Based on the above, and after the attack that was launched through the skies of Jordan and the US-occupied Syrian area of al-Tanf, the command of the Allied Operations Room has taken a decision to respond to this attack in retaliation for the lives of the martyrs and the blood of the wounded. The response will be very harsh,” the joint command warned.
The Allied Operations Room did not specify the form in which the “retaliation” would take place, its expected targets, nor its expected time or place.
The statement follows reports early on Thursday morning that Syrian air defence forces had engaged multiple inbound targets over Homs province in a desert area near the ancient city of Palmyra. A military source told Sputnik Arabic that the strikes targeted a communications tower and the area around it and that they killed one army soldier and injured three others.
In its statement, the Allied Operations Room indicated that “as a result of this attack, a number of martyrs and injured from our brothers have fallen,” without elaborating on exact casualties.
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Also on Wednesday night, missiles were reportedly spotted flying into central Syria over at-Tanf, the illegal US Syrian garrison situated near the Jordanian and Iraqi borders.
The attacks, which Syrian media have attributed to Israel, follow a separate missile strike carried out on 8 October against the Tiyas T4 airport in Homs’ eastern countryside. The Israeli military has targeted the airport repeatedly, claiming it contains concentrations of "Iranian" or "pro-Iranian" forces which pose a threat to Tel Aviv. Syria’s air defences reported downing most of the incoming missiles in the 8 October strike.
The Israeli military almost never comments on its operations in Syria and has not claimed responsibility for Wednesday night’s strikes, nor those carried out last week.
In a related development, Israel’s Airports Authority announced on Thursday morning that the airspace around the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights territories would be closed for 24 hours, as is routine following reports of Israeli strikes in Syria.
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The Allied Operations Room was created in the early 2010s to coordinate Syrian Army and Hezbollah operations, with Syrian high command and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force advisors tasked with overseeing the command.
Hezbollah fighters and Quds Force advisors proved instrumental in helping Damascus stop and then reverse an onslaught by terrorist and "rebel" groups including Daesh, al-Qaeda*, and others in the early years of the war in Syria. Since 2015 and the intervention of the Russian military in the anti-terror fight, most of Syria’s major population centres have been freed of terrorists and rebel militias. Russian forces joined their Syrian counterparts in drills near Palmyra in early September.
* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
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