This happened in the early hours of Saturday April 13 when the Israeli air force (IAF) warplanes attacked Iran-related targets in Masyaf and Umm Haratayn in the Hama Province in north-west Syria.
The IAF jets flew at low altitude into Lebanese airspace and attacked several Quds Force facilities in the vicinity of Masyaf and a Maysalun heavy artillery rocket launcher.
They stayed, however, in Lebanese airspace to prevent the Syrian army from using its advanced Russian-made S-300 anti-missile shield.
The projectiles used were Rampage supersonic missiles which are able to travel 150 kilometers and are designed for the destruction of high-quality targets without the delivering warplane being in the area of the strike.
The Rampage was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Israel Military Industry Systems and has relatively small warheads while the missile cost roughly a third of the price of similar missiles sold in the world.
Each IAF warplane - be it the F-15, F-16 or the Adir F-35 stealth fighter - is able to carry 4 Rampage missiles which have an algorithm-based navigation system as a backup that gives the missile immunity from anti-missile shields such as the S-300 and S-400.
A Rampage missile is, furthermore, able to carry two different types of warheads with one of them able to penetrate armored targets such as bunkers.
The IAF attack destroyed at least three buildings and one hangar in Masyaf while media reported that several Iranian, North Korean and Belarus engineers were among those killed and wounded.
The facility in Masyaf reportedly produced Iranian ‘Earthquake 2’ missiles and converted crude rockets into GPS-guided precision missiles.
By using the Rampage missile the Israeli military once again outsmarted the Quds Force just like it did on May 10, 2018 when the IAF destroyed - in one fell swoop - the bulk of Iran’s military facilities after provoking the Quds Force for months.
The IAF then wanted the Quds Force to respond to a series of Israeli attacks on its facilities and on weapon-transports bound for Hezbollah and set a trap to teach the Iranians a lesson.
Qassem Soleimani, the shrewd commander of the Quds Force, fell into the trap when he ordered the launch of over 30 missiles on northern Israel and unwillingly gave Israel the legitimization to deliver a devastating blow to the IRGC division.
The Iranian division now thought that by moving its facilities in Syria from Damascus to an area it considered immune to IAF strikes - due to the Russian presence and the deployment of the S-300 missile interceptor - it had made IAF strikes virtually impossible.
The Iranians recently decided to move their military facilities from Damascus to the Hama and Aleppo (Chalab in Arabic) region after the Israelis repeatedly bombed their military infrastructure in the Syrian capital to smithereens.
According to the Lebanese daily Al-Modon the Iranian move was based on understandings with Russia which enabled Iran to continue sending troops and weapons via Damascus International Airport while the covert missile program would be relocated to areas under Russian control.
On March 15, the Quds Force finished the relocation of its facilities to northwestern Syria after which the Israeli military and government decided to take action.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu reportedly responded to the Iranian moves by traveling to Moscow where he discussed the situation with President Vladimir Putin on April 4 five days before the Israeli election.
Netanyahu also discussed the Quds Force’ move with US President Donald Trump who in turn used his clout over Putin to ensure the Russians would not interfere with IAF actions against the new Iranian commando center in northwestern Syria.
The American interference was another indication the U.S. has placed the IAF under its umbrella in order to secure Israeli operational freedom against the continuing Iranian entrenchment in Syria.
This unprecedented move coincided with increased military cooperation between the US army and the Israeli military.
The Americans recently conducted a massive missile-defense drill with the missile-defense unit of the Israeli military and plan to hold another one in Alaska this summer.
A Special Forces unit of the US army in Germany landed in the beginning of April on the Nevatim air force base in southern Israel and brought with them the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system which was integrated into Israel’s missile defense shields.
Maj.Gen. Andrew Rohling the commander of the US army in Germany, who headed the 230-servicemen strong unit, made it clear that the United States will help Israel whenever Iran starts its long-anticipated missile war against Israel.
“The ability to rapidly surge combat-ready forces into and across the theater is critical to projecting forces at a moment’s notice to support our allies and partners across the theater,” Rohling told reporters.
Yair Ramati, former director of the Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), confirmed that the US military will participate in the defense of Israel in a future missile war with Iran and its proxies.
Ramati said that the US Navy will use its Aegis anti-missile system and the Americans will play a “significant role” in defending Israel against a missile onslaught.
The planned drill in Alaska this summer will involve tests with the Arrow 3 missile interceptor.
“Arrow-3 is designed as a hit-to-kill interceptor, with a kill vehicle detaching from the missile body to hit the target directly and destroy it by force of impact, instead of an explosion,” Breaking Defense reported.
The unprecedented American Israeli military cooperation comes amidst growing tensions with Iran over the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization by the U.S.
A former US government official says the Pentagon and the State Department “are setting the stage for a war with Iran” by using the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Terrorists (AUMF) act.
Iran has reacted furiously to Trump’s decision to designate the IRGC a terrorist organization and threatens to react military by attacking US bases across the Middle East and beyond.
The Islamic Republic also boasted that it is a superpower in the field of drone warfare and on Wednesday showed-off two domestically manufactured warplanes during ‘Army Day’ where Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called upon fellow Muslims to “drive back Zionism”.