Tehran Seeks to Upgrade Syria’s Air Defenses

International affairs official at the Ministry of Defense Hamzah Kalandari. (websites)
International affairs official at the Ministry of Defense Hamzah Kalandari. (websites)
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Tehran Seeks to Upgrade Syria’s Air Defenses

International affairs official at the Ministry of Defense Hamzah Kalandari. (websites)
International affairs official at the Ministry of Defense Hamzah Kalandari. (websites)

Iran wants to boost the Syrian military by upgrading the country's air-defense with medium and long-range systems to confront threats, an Iranian official in the Defense Ministry said Monday according to the Fars news agency.

 

Deputy Defense Minister for International Affairs Brigadier General Hamzeh Ghalandari told the news agency that although Syria possesses air-defense capabilities, the country is witnessing a wide range of threats.

 

“We have declared openly and publicly that we, along with our Syrian brothers, seek to strengthen the Syrian air defense in various ways,” Ghalandari said.

 

He affirmed that Iran will support Syria with equipment and tactical upgrades.

 

“In light of the air threats against Syria, efforts are underway to strengthen its air defense capabilities by using medium and long ranges systems,” he noted, adding that the type of systems will be announced in due course.

 

On Monday, Syrian news outlets said Syrian army air defenses confronted an Israeli missile.

 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said government air defense sites near Damascus where fighters from the Iran-backed Hezbollah group are present were targeted.

 

Meanwhile, the official Syrian news agency, SANA, said Syrian air defenses have shot down incoming Israeli missiles.

 

It quoted a military source as saying that the attack took place at about 23:45 pm local time on Sunday.

 

The source added that the missile strike targeted some areas in the vicinity of Damascus.

 

“Our air defenses intercepted the [Israeli] aggression’s missiles and shot down some of them,” the source said, adding that the attack only led to material damages.

 

SOHR reported that one site north of the capital lying around 10 kilometers (six miles) from the Lebanese border was also a target. Five Hezbollah fighters were reportedly wounded.

 

Another site between the airport and the Sayyida Zeinab area southeast of the capital where Iran-backed forces are present was also targeted, the Britain-based war-monitor, which has a vast network of sources on the ground in Syria.

 

Since the start of the war in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against regime positions as well as Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces, allies of Damascus and arch-foes of Israel.

 

Israel rarely comments on the strikes on a case-by-case basis, but says it seeks to prevent Iran establishing a foothold on its doorstep.

 

 



Israel Bombs Gaza after US Criticizes High Civilian Toll

Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
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Israel Bombs Gaza after US Criticizes High Civilian Toll

Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed

Israel renewed its bombardment of the Gaza Strip Tuesday, after the United States renewed its criticism of its ally over the high civilian casualty toll of the war.

Residents told AFP of Israeli warplanes striking central Gaza and artillery fire hitting the territory's south, while medics said they pulled multiple bodies from the rubble of the latest bombardment.

Hours earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told two top Israeli officials that casualties among Palestinian civilians "still remain unacceptably high".

"We continue to see far too many civilians killed in this conflict," spokesman Matthew Miller said after Blinken meth Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi.

Washington has been pushing for a truce between Israel and Hamas.

But Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday that the group was pulling out of indirect talks for a deal in protest at recent Israeli "massacres", including a massive strike on Sunday that the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said killed at least 92 people.

Haniyeh said Hamas stood ready to return to the indirect talks once Israel "demonstrates seriousness in reaching a ceasefire agreement and a prisoner exchange deal".

After the latest deadly strikes, medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent said they recovered four bodies from a house outside the southern city of Khan Yunis and another from Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza.

The Israeli military said that over the previous 24 hours its air force struck "approximately 40 terror targets" in Gaza. They included "sniping posts, observation posts, Hamas military structures, terror infrastructure, and buildings rigged with explosives".

It said its troops were also continuing targeted raids in the far-southern city of Rafah and in the central Gaza Strip.