Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft hit at least 18 sites that house Iranian troops and weapons storage facilities near the Iraqi border in Syria on Tuesday night. This is a sign that Israel is ratcheting up pressure on Iran and its proxy militias in the country, despite the upcoming change of administrations in Washington.

Casualties are listed as 23 killed and 28 wounded. Yet, the death toll is expected to rise as many troops and militiamen were seriously injured in the airstrikes.

This is the third and largest airstrike against an Iranian-linked presence in Syria in the past month. Initial reports had the airstrikes hitting as many as 50 different targets. The strikes come on the heels of an extensive Israeli leaflet drop campaign aimed at reducing civilian deaths.

Due to the problems of conducting airstrikes so far from Israeli air space this particular operation targeted Iranian positions close to the Iraqi border. This may account for the large number of targets engaged in the operation, which makes it a rarity among Israeli airstrikes.