With the world’s eyes on Ukraine, Israel has carried out strikes on Syria for two consecutive nights. Thursday’s early morning attack is the third in the past week and, according to Syrian state media, the strikes killed three soldiers stationed somewhere near the national capital of Damascus.
The night prior, Israel targeted the southern city of Quneitra and inflicted material damage, with missiles reportedly fired from the occupied Golan Heights.
The recent strikes are part of hundreds of Israeli air raids on Syria launched over the past decade. Each attack erodes the Syrian army’s ability to fight the many jihadist groups still active in the country – some of which previously enjoyed American support.
Tensions over Ukraine have stoked anxiety in Tel Aviv, as Israel maintains good ties with the US, Russia and Ukraine. Israel fears that US sanctions on Russia could curb its ability to carry out strikes in Syria, possibly explaining why it has bombed the country twice since Russia recognized the independence of two separatist republics in the Donbas and launched a military intervention on their behalf.
While the US has cited Russia’s breach of Ukraine’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity” as justification for the deluge of recent sanctions, it has never once condemned Israel for its repeated violation of Syria’s, let alone impose penalties over it.