In the hours following US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, Syrian news agencies claimed a military base near Damascus was targeted in an Israeli missile attack. After “abnormal” Iranian troop movement in Syria, cities and towns in the Golan Heights area were ordered to open their bomb shelters and IDF reservists were called up.

The alleged Israeli attack in Syria

The alleged Israeli attack in Syria Photo Credit: Screenshot from Twitter

Syrian media outlets reported on Wednesday morning that Israel struck a military outpost near the Syrian capital of Damascus last night, killing at least 15 pro-Assad fighters, including eight Iranians, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Several missiles were fired by Israeli fighter jets at the countryside in Kisweh, just south of Damascus, and two of the missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defenses, Syria’s official SANA news agency said.

It is suspected that Israel carried out a preemptive strike against Iranian targets amid reports that Iran’s forces in Syria are planning to launch a missile attack on Israel. A foreign news report claims that the Israeli missiles were fired at Iranian rocket launchers that were aimed toward Israel.

The attack took place an hour after US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic, a move that was praised in Israel but criticized by the European states that signed the 2015 agreement.

Before Trump’s announcement, bomb shelters in the Golan Heights were activated and opened by orders of the Israeli Defense Forces following Iranian troop movements in Syria. The IDF spokesperson described the troop movements as “abnormal” and has warned residents of the area to watch out for instructions. Troop preparedness levels have been raised to attack levels and reserve troops in Northern Israel have been called up to service.

“The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios and warns that any action against Israel will be responded to harshly,” the spokesman explained.