Israel attacked dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in what the military said was the most extensive strike in the neighboring country in decades. The strike was in response to a barrage of 20 rockets that were fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts.
The Israeli military accused the Revolutionary Guards’ Al Quds force and its commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, of launching the attack at the Israeli Golan Heights. This is the first time Israel has directly accused Iran of firing toward Israeli territory.
Four of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system and the rest of the rockets exploded on Syrian territory, the military said. Israel said there were no casualties in the attack.
Israel said its targets included weapons storage, logistics sites and intelligence centers used by elite Iranian forces in Syria. It also said it destroyed five Syrian air-defense systems after coming under heavy fire. It said none of its warplanes were hit.
A U.S. State Department official said that U.S. wishes to reiterate last week statement by Secretary Mike Pompeo’s in which he stressed the U.S. support of Israel against the Iranian threat.
“We stand with Israel in the fight against Iran’s malign activities and we strongly support Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself. If true [evidence provided by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding Iran’s nuclear activity in recent years], this only bolsters our decision to terminate the JCPOA. Iran will have showed the world its true intentions. Let there be no doubt,” the official said as quoted by Haarez.
In the meantime, Iranian IFP said that Israel and Syria exchanged missile fire, during which dozens of Israeli military sites and Syrian bases were targeted.
“Ten Zionist regime’s military positions in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights were targeted by rocket fire amid heightened tension,” IFP wrote citing the Beirut-based TV channel Al-Mayadeen.