Israel and Syria exchange most extensive missile strikes

Adjust Comment Print

A map of the military targets provided by the Israeli army shows multiple sites near Damascus and also near the Syria-Israel border.

Israel has also claimed that the targets included weapons storage, logistics sites and intelligence centers used by elite Iranian forces in Syria.

A military source quoted by Syria's official SANA news said the army's air defenses shot down "tens of Israeli missiles, preventing majority from reaching their targets", while some managed to hit a number of air defense battalions, radars and an ammunitions depot. It says they are there as military advisers to Syria. He added that Israeli forces remain on high alert, but hopes this "chapter" is finished.

"We don't want an escalation, but won't let anyone attack us or build an infrastructure to attack us in the future". "The Iranian attempt to bring anti-aircraft systems to our borders and close our skies is intolerable and unacceptable". IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus said that the Israeli military had informed Russian Federation of the planned airstrikes on Syria.

Air-raid sirens were heard on the Israeli side of the Golan before the shelling and residents were told to stay in shelters.

The Israeli military's Arabic-language Twitter account said early on Thursday that it was moving against Iranian targets in Syria and warned Damascus not to intervene.

Syrian state television was broadcasting footage of its air defences firing at incoming rockets and playing patriotic songs.

Colonel Conricus said the barrage of approximately 20 Grad and Fajr-5 rockets fired from Syria and aimed at Israeli positions after midnight was launched under the command of the Quds Force and utilized Iranian weapons. The rockets either fell short of their targets or were intercepted, Lt Col Jonathan Conricus told reporters.

Iranian forces have attacked Israel army's outposts directly for the first time as it fired 20 artillery rockets into the country from Syria, prompting fears of war. Tel Aviv claims some the missiles have been intercepted by its Iron Dome defence system.

According to Israel's leading daily Haaretz, the Israeli military has accused Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Al Quds force and its commander Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, of launching the attack at the "Israeli Golan Heights". "It was ordered and commanded by Qassem Soleimani and it has not achieved its goal", he said.

He said that Israel was willing to give up everything, do everything, except swap its neighbors.

However, Iran has not yet commented about Israel's attack.

"Iran tried to attack the sovereign territory of the state of Israel".

A few hours earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had travelled to Moscow to deal with President Vladimir Putin on Iranian deployment in Syria.

An Israeli soldiers stands on Mount Bental in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on May 10, 2018.

"When the president of Russian Federation invites the prime minister of the state of the Jews to stand alongside him at the parade symbolizing the Red Army's victory over the Nazis, its liberation, also, of the (concentration) camps, of Jews and others - for Russian Federation, that is very significant", Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told the Ynet news site.