There have been over a dozen attacks in Syria attributed to israel since the beginning of the year. According to Syria’s army and media, israel regularly attacks suspected Iranian or Iranian-linked military targets, something Damascus condemns as violation of its sovereignty.
Israel has seemingly ramped up its attacks against alleged Iranian targets in Syria, according to US diplomats.
There “appears to be increased Israeli operational tempo [in Syria] and broadening [of] its target set”, a senior State Department official, who accompanied Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his Israel visit, told reporters on Wednesday.
Mike Pompeo visited Jerusalem on Wednesday to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his nemesis-turned-ally Benny Gantz. They were expected to discuss Iran, the coronavirus, and Israeli plans to extend its sovereignty to portions of the West Bank.
Another State Department official told the briefing that discussing the land grab wasn’t the purpose of the trip. “We should dispel the notion that we flew halfway around the world to talk about annexation,” they said.
Pompeo’s visit came two weeks after Syrian media reported that Israel had again carried out airstrikes inside the neighbouring country (near Damascus and in the Syrian Golan Heights). The IDF typically doesn’t comment on those attacks, which target sites that Israeli intelligence believes are used by Iran or Iranian-backed militants, such as the Lebanon-based group Hezbollah.