AIF F-15i

‘Operation House of Cards,’ the IAF mission to cripple Iran’s presence in Syria

During two pre-dawn hours, Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighter jets evaded “dozens of missiles” and dropped “many dozens” of bombs on over 50 Iranian targets throughout Syria as the Israel air force carried out an extensive campaign, dubbed “Operation House of Cards,” to try and destroy Iran’s military presence in the country.

The mission — the largest air campaign carried out by Israel in Syria in over 40 years — was “very successful,” a senior air force officer said Thursday, but warned that Israel believes that Iranian forces in Syria are still in possession of surface-to-surface missiles that could again be fired at Israel.

In light of that threat, the Israeli military remained on high alert on Thursday evening.

Just after midnight on Wednesday, some 20 rockets were fired at northern Israeli military bases by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ al-Quds Force from southern Syria, Israel said.

According to the military, four of them were shot down by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the rest failed to clear the border.

This attack prompted extensive Israeli retaliatory raids, which targeted IRGC intelligence centers, weapons depots, storage facilities, observation posts, and logistics centers in Syria, as well as the rocket launcher that carried out the initial attack, the army said.

One launcher was hit as it readied to launch rockets at Israel, military sources said. Another launcher was hit as it was firing.

“We used many dozens of bombs. The weather conditions were limiting, the skies were full, which demanded coordination and synchronization, all of this while dozens of missiles were being fired at our planes — this was a complicated mission,” the air force officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity,

The Israel Defense Forces said that it suffered no casualties, either on the ground or in the air, and that no rockets fired from Syria made impact in Israeli territory.

Read More: Times of Israel