Israel accuses Iranian forces of rocket attack
Iranian forces based in Syria fired 20 rockets at Israeli front-line military positions in the Golan Heights early today, the Israeli military said, triggering an Israeli reprisal and escalating already heightened tensions.
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 fired the rockets at several Israeli bases, though he would not say how Israel determined the Iranian involvement. The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Israeli-controlled Golan, which was captured from Syria in the 1967 war.
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 said.
Syria’s state media said Syrian air defenses had intercepted “hostile Israeli missiles” early today that were fired over southwestern Damascus. Hours later, state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV broadcast a live feed of Syrian air defenses firing into the sky above the capital, and loud explosions and air defense firing were heard through the night.
Syrian activists reported Israeli airstrikes hitting targets near Damascus. One video posted online showed a large explosion and shrapnel flying in the air. Residents reported loud sounds that rocked their buildings. It was not immediately clear what was hit.
An Israeli army spokesman, Avichay Adraee, said on Twitter that Israel was “acting against Iranian targets inside Syria,” a rare admission by an Israeli official.
Syrian media earlier said the hostilities began with Israeli fire at Syrian positions in southern Syria from across the border. Pro-Syrian media said Syrian missiles then fired at Israeli forces.