What Happened: Israel launched airstrikes against a Syrian arms depot in western Damascus on Dec. 25 that injured three state security force members, Haaretz reported Dec. 26. Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced that Syria's Russian-supplied missile defense systems intercepted 14 of 16 strikes.
Why It Matters: Israel continues to seek opportunities to target Hezbollah-linked forces in Syria, as its strategy of containing Iranian influence in the Syrian conflict will become significantly more difficult following the announcement of a complete U.S. withdrawal from Syria.
Background: Israel has significantly reduced the number of its strikes on targets in Syria since Syrian air defense systems accidentally downed a Russian plane in September following an Israeli airstrike.
- Syria: The Pros and Cons of a U.S. Withdrawal (Dec. 19, 2018)
- The Next Phase of the Syrian Conflict Could Be the Most Damaging (Nov. 30, 2018)
- A Gaza Cease-Fire Threatens Israel's Government (Nov. 15, 2018)