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Israel thwarts Iranian ‘killer drone’ attack

(File Photo JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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With so much attention on the actions of a few anti-Semitic Democratic members of Congress, it’s easy to get distracted from the reality that on a daily basis, Israel faces real attacks from enemies who’d push them into the sea, given the chance.

Unfortunately for these evil forces, Israel vehemently reserves the right to have a say in the matter.

The Israeli military announced on Saturday that warplanes struck near Damascus, Syria, targeting Iranian forces that had been planning to launch “killer drones” into Israel, Reuters reported.

“The strike targeted Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite militias which were preparing to advance attack plans targeting sites in Israel from within Syria over the last number of days,” the military said in a statement, according to the news agency.

The Quds Force is an elite special forces unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that operates overseas — Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to say they “thwarted an attack” in what he called a “major operational effort.”

In a pair of tweets, Netanyahu let it be known that Iran “has no immunity anywhere,” with the prime minister including an ominous quote that read: “If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first.”

“Prime Minister and Defense Minister Netanyahu: ‘In a major operational effort, we have thwarted an attack against Israel by the Iranian Quds force and Shi’ite militias. I reiterate: Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our forces operate in every sector against the Iranian aggression,” read the first tweet.

He added in a second tweet: “‘If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first.’ I have directed that our forces be prepared for any scenario. We will continue to take determined and responsible action against Iran and its proxies for the security of Israel.”

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Iran’s Quds force has been working with Shiite militia allies on a plan to send explosives-laden attack drones into Israel, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“This was a significant plan with significant capabilities that had been planned for a few months,” Conricus said. “It was not something done on a low-level, but rather top down from the Quds Force.”

The Israeli military has been monitoring the plot for several months and on Thursday prevented Iran from making an “advanced attempt” to execute that plan, according to Conricus.

A second attempt was made late Saturday, he said.

“We were able to thwart this attack with fighter jets,” Conricus said, adding that the attack was believed to be “very imminent.”

Syria claims otherwise.

Syrian state media reported the country’s air defenses intercepted “hostile targets” over Damascus, according to Reuters.

“The aggression is ongoing and air defenses are confronting hostile targets and are downing most of them in the southern region,” state media outlet SANA said.

The news agency also reported that the Syrian army claimed in a statement that “the majority of the Israeli missiles were destroyed before reaching their targets.”

A senior Revolutionary Guards commander, Major General Mohsen Rezaei, denied that Iranian targets in Syria had been hit by Israeli air strikes, Haaretz reported.

“This is a lie and not true,” Rezaei said. “Israel and the United States do not have the power to attack Iran’s various centers, and our (military) advisory centers have not been harmed.”

In the attack that Iran says didn’t happen, two Hezbollah operatives and an Iranian were killed, according to the opposition organization Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Tom Tillison

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