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IMMINENT WARNING: SYRIAN AIR DEFENSE MISSILE EXPLODES OVER ISRAELI TERRITORY

July 2, 2023

Ludovica Leccese, CENTCOM/AFRICOM Team

Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor


Israel-Syria border[1]


Event: On July 1, 2023, Israel carried out airstrikes near the central Syrian city of Homs. According to the Syrian military, the strikes caused material damage but no casualties. In response to the Israeli action, a Syrian anti-aircraft missile exploded over Israeli territory, prompting another round of strikes by Israel. The Syrian military stated that its air defenses managed to shoot down some Israeli missiles flying over Lebanon.[2]

Significance: The explosion of a Syrian air defense missile over Israeli territory will almost certainly exacerbate the existing tensions between Israel and Syria, likely further destabilizing the region. Israel carrying out airstrikes in Syria likely represents its determination to disrupt Iranian activities in Syria and to prevent further Iranian entrenchment in Syria, which will very likely result in an increased Iranian response against Israel. Iran will likely seek to strengthen its presence and support for its proxies in Syria, very likely leading to a further militarization of the conflict. The escalation of the conflict and the continuous airstrikes will very likely have significant humanitarian consequences, leading to increased displacement of populations, civilian casualties, and damaged critical infrastructure, further exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Syria and neighboring countries.

Recommendations

  • The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends the Israeli government to prioritize the protection of civilians and infrastructures during airstrikes by conducting a thorough intelligence assessment to minimize collateral damage. CTG also recommends avoiding targeting densely populated areas whenever possible.

  • CTG recommends enhancing communication and coordination with relevant international partners to help prevent unintended escalations. CTG also recommends constantly assessing the potential for escalation and taking measures to mitigate risks.

  • CTG recommends governments in the region foster dialogue and regional cooperation to address common security concerns. Governments should build trust, enhance intelligence sharing, and coordinate to respond to any common emerging threats.

  • CTG recommends civilians stay informed about the current situation and follow safety guidelines issued by local authorities.

  • CTG recommends the international community actively support diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions, promoting a peaceful resolution. CTG also recommends the international community facilitate negotiations by offering mediation services or providing diplomatic support to regional actors.

  • CTG recommends the international community provide humanitarian assistance to affected populations, including refugees and internally displaced persons. CTG also recommends including financial aid, medical support, and logistical assistance to ensure the well-being of those impacted by the conflict.

  • If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-2848 or email info@counterterrorismgroup.com

 

[1] Israel-Syria border by Google Maps

[2] Israel’s air force attacks Syria and Syrian air defense missile explodes over northern Israel, AP News, July 2023, https://apnews.com/article/syria-israel-airstrike-homs-air-defenses-eeeaed69e9c7fdfec2e510fd94c84705

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