The Israeli military released on Tuesday maps and aerial footage of Iranian military positions in Syria, in what was interpreted as a new Israeli threat against Tehran.
The release of the images came at a time when Iran was preparing for an anticipated retaliation to Israel strikes against Syria’s T-4 airbase in Homs last week. The strike left 14 people dead, including seven Iranians.
Israel accused Tehran of taking up base in Syria and seeking all possible efforts to entrench itself there.
“Iran is transferring to Syria several combat methods under the pretense of delivering humanitarian aid,” said an Israeli military official.
The air force linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards has since 2015 been carrying out routine flights to Syria, he continued.
Tehran is focusing in particular on air power in order to be able to directly confront Israel in case of an escalation, similar to what happened two months ago, he explained.
In February, Israel downed an Iranian drone after it had infiltrated its airspace. Israel said last week that the aircraft was loaded with explosives and ready to carry out an attack against it.
The images released by the Israeli military showed Iranian bases and airports in Aleppo, Deir al-Zour and Damascus.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Russian aircraft are present at these facilities, said the army. They are dedicated to delivering rockets and ammunition to the Lebanese “Hezbollah” group, as well as launching drones operated by the Guards.
Israel acknowledged on Monday that it had carried out the T-4 airbase strike, saying it was in retaliation to the February drone incident.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday: "We will not tolerate a significant Iranian military force in Syria in the form of military ports and airports or the deployment of sophisticated weaponry.”
"We will maintain total freedom of action. We will not accept any limitation when it comes to the defense of our security interests,” he warned.