EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Tehran’s recent decision to attempt direct clashes with Israel resulted in a resounding defeat on May 10, when the IDF destroyed 50 Iranian military targets in Syrian territory. Iran is now shifting gears back to its traditional proxy approach. While it appears reluctant to mobilize Hezbollah against Israel right now and risk a full-scale regional war, it is continuing to work on securing a military position in Syria to use for future aggression. Israel must maintain its flexibility and responsiveness in order to prevent the creation of a second Iranian mass missile front on the border.
Judging from international media reports, Israel’s campaign to keep Iran out of Syria has entered a new phase.
In the previous phase, Tehran had injected its own Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) forces into Syria, where they proceeded to build drone, missile, and infantry bases. Iran’s grander ambition is to set up naval and air force bases on Syrian soil as well. In addition, it wants to flood the country with projectile launchers and terrorist cells that would assault Israel in the future.
The initial effort ran up against persistent and accurate Israeli defensive counter-measures. Israel relied on advanced intelligence, combined with precision firepower, to destroy Iran’s budding military presence in Syria.