Press TV – The Syrian army has reinforced its anti-aircraft defense systems in the country’s southwest near the border areas of Golan Heights against potential attacks from Israel, a pro-Syrian government commander says.
The commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Tuesday that the army plans to deploy additional defenses in the coming days.
The Syrian army has stationed Russian-made Pantsir S1 weapon in an attempt to “renew the air defense system against Israel in the first degree,” the commander said.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army forces are gearing up for an offensive against militant groups at the border with Israel and Jordan.
The commander noted that grounds are fully prepared for the offensive in the southwest, but government forces currently focus on eliminating a pocket of Daesh Takfiri terrorists near the government-held southern town of Sweida.
Israel wants Syrian allied forces such Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement away from the Golan Heights, but Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says the group will maintain its presence in Syria as long as Damascus wants them to do so.
Earlier this month, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem said Damascus seeks to liberate the country’s southwestern areas from militant groups through a settlement, under which the insurgents can either accept the government’s rule or withdraw from the area.
The Israeli regime waged a full-scale war against Arab territories in 1967, occupying the West Bank, Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms, and the mountainous Syrian region of Golan Heights.
Back on May 10, Israel conducted what it called its most intensive airstrikes on Syria in decades. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Israel had used 28 warplanes in its Syria strikes and fired 70 missiles. Both Damascus and Moscow said that the Syrian army managed to shoot down over half of the missiles.
The Tel Aviv regime, at the time, claimed that its assault was a response to a barrage of 20 rockets that were fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts in the occupied Golan Heights. It also blamed the purported rocket fire on Iran.
Over the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria in what is considered an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.
Israel has been providing weapons to anti-Damascus militants as well as medical treatment to the Takfiri elements wounded in Syria.