Syrian state media reported Monday that an airstrike against pro-government forces in the far east of the country caused casualties, while Iraqi officials said 20 Shiite paramilitaries were killed just across the border.
Israel has attacked Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militias in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, casting such actions as potentially helping to stem a Syrian Sunni Muslim refugee exodus to Europe.
The Israeli military was in a state of high alert in the country’s north Monday, in readiness for possible retaliation by Iran over alleged Israeli strikes on its sites in Syria. Security forces are preparing for the possibility of attempted infiltrations of military bases and communities in the north, Hadashot TV news reported.
The locations of some of Iran’s military installations in Syria, including some within 30 miles of Israeli territory in the Golan Heights, may be motivated more by Tehran’s desire to provoke an Islamic end-of-the-world cataclysm than for strategic value, contends an expert on Shiite religious dogma.