JERUSALEM (AP) — Iranian forces based in Syria fired 20 rockets at Israeli front-line military positions in the Golan Heights early Thursday, the Israeli military said, triggering an Israeli reprisal and further escalating heightened tensions between the two bitter enemies in neighboring Syria.
The Israeli military said its Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted some of the incoming projectiles, while others caused only minimal damage. There were no Israeli casualties.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Al Quds force had fired the rockets at several Israeli bases, though he would not say how Israel had determined the Iranian involvement. The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Israeli-controlled Golan.
Israel “views this Iranian attack very severely,” Conricus told reporters. He said Israel had responded, but did not provide details.
“This event is not over,” he added.
Syria’s state media said Syrian air defenses had intercepted “hostile Israeli missiles” early Thursday that were fired over southwestern Damascus.
Syrian media earlier said the hostilities began with Israeli fire at Syrian positions in the country’s south from across the border. Pro-Syrian media said Syrian missiles then fired at Israeli forces. One TV station, Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen, said at least 50 missiles were fired from Syria at Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights. Syrian media said it was the first time in years that Syrians had fired at Israeli forces in Golan.
Israel has been on heightened alert in recent days, anticipating an Iranian attack following Iranian vows to retaliate to what it says are recent Israeli strikes in Syria targeting Iranian outposts.
Late Tuesday, Syrian state media said Israel struck a military outpost near the capital of Damascus. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, killing at least 15 people, eight of them Iranians.
Last month, an attack on Syria’s T4 air base in Homs province killed seven Iranian military personnel. On April 30, Israel was said to have struck government outposts in northern Syria, killing more than a dozen pro-government fighters, many of them Iranians.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied most of the airstrikes. But for months, it has repeatedly said it will not accept a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria.
In February, Israel shot down what it said was an armed Iranian drone that entered Israeli airspace. Israel responded by attacking anti-aircraft positions in Syria, but an Israeli warplane …read more
Source:: Time – World