In the early hours of Monday morning, Syrian state television reported loud explosions near the regime-controlled T-4 airbase (Tiyas) located in the desert west of Palmyra. The Russian military said that two Israeli F-15 jets carried out the attack from Lebanese airspace and at least 14 people were killed including three Iranians. It comes in the aftermath of a suspected chemical weapon attack on rebel-held Douma that killed 42 people. President Trump said its perpetrators would pay a "high price" and initially, it was assumed that the missiles that struck the airbase were American.
Concerned with Iranian-backed troops close to its border and the potential of weaponry falling into the hands of Hezbollah, Israel has conducted numerous airstrikes in Syria without acknowledgement. The Israelis already attacked the same Syrian base in February after an Iranian-produced drone was destroyed near the northern town of Beit Shean. The airstrike proved costly for the Israeli Air Force with an F-16 shot down by Syrian air defenses. That incident marked a serious escalation in the proxy war
between Israel and Iran in Syria.
The following infographic shows the Iranian presence in Syria according to research conducted by the New York Times
. It also shows major Israeli airstrikes on targets in Syria since the start of the civil war. In addition to the attacks listed here, there were many others that were not reported or acknowledged and these cannot be included due to a lack of information. What is certain, however, is that Israel's game of cat and mouse with Iran in Syria is escalating by the week with this morning's airstrike a particularly worrying development.