Iranian forces stationed in Syria planned to use a number of unmanned aircraft carrying explosive material to crash into targets in northern Israel, the IDF said Sunday, adding that one abortive attempt was made to launch the attacks last week.
On Sunday, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus spoke with reporters and shared some details of the recent plot by Iranian-backed forces in Syria to attack northern Israel with drone aircraft.
According to the Conricus, Iran’s Quds Force, part of the Revolutionary Guards, had been preparing for the attack for the past several months, and had recently dispatched four Iranian drone operators to Syria to remotely control unmanned Iranian aircraft during an attack on northern Israel.
Each drone was to carry several kilograms of high-explosives, slip into Israeli territory, and then crash into Israeli targets – with each drone assigned to a separate target. The drones would thus serve effectively as unmanned suicide bombers, or "kamikaze drones" as Conricus described them, and would be destroyed in the attacks along with their targets.
But Israeli intelligence had discovered the plot weeks ago, and kept track of the Iranian operation, which is said to have been personally overseen by Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani.
Conricus added that the Iranian forces in Syria even attempted to launch the attacks last Thursday, but said Israel managed to repulse the attempted infiltration. Conricus declined to specify how the attacks were thwarted.
On Saturday, Israeli aircraft struck Iranian military targets in the village of Aqraba, southeast of Damascus, where the drone operation was centered.
At least five people were killed, including Hezbollah terrorists and at least one Iranian official, the London-based Syrian Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group.