Israel conducts deadly retaliatory strikes against Syria

Two rockets were launched on Saturday night from Syria toward the Israeli Golan Heights. One rocket landed in Syrian territory, while the other exploded on Mount Hermon, on the Israeli side of the mountainous Golan region.

An Israeli military spokesperson told TV7 that it was still unclear who had fired the rockets, but underscored that the IDF views the Syrian army as solely responsible for any attacks that emanate from Syrian territory.

In response to the attack, Israeli fighter-jets and attack helicopters struck a number of Syrian military bases. According to the IDF spokesperson’s unit, the Syrian targets included “two artillery batteries, a number of observation and intelligence posts on the Golan Heights, and an S.A.-2 aerial defense battery.” During the coordinated Israeli bombardment, “an Israeli aerial defense system was activated” due to the launch of multiple surface-to-air rockets by Syrian anti-aircraft batteries. It is important to note that none of the Syrian rocket-fire managed to target Israel’s aircrafts, nor did they cross into Israeli territory. According to Syrian sources, some ten Syrians – including three soldiers and seven “foreign nationals” were killed in the Israeli attack.

Meanwhile in Jerusalem, incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s policy, according to which it will “respond with great force to any aggression” against the Jewish State. In his words: ” I held security consultations after the shooting, I order the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to respond decisively, which it did, striking several important targets. We will not tolerate firing at our territory, we respond with great force to any aggression against us, this has been a coherent policy that I have led together with the government and we will continue to do so for the security of the State of Israel.”

A day after Jerusalem’s retaliatory attack, the Israeli Air Force allegedly conducted yet another bombardment – this time, against Syria’s T-4 airbase, which is located in the Homs Governorate – West of the ancient city of Palmyra. While Syrian State Television claimed that the Israeli attack was intercepted by the military’s air-defenses; the London-based ‘Syrian Observatory For Human Rights’ reported that at least five people were killed, including three Syrian soldiers. The Watchdog further reported that ‘a storehouse containing missiles and vehicles was destroyed in the air strike,’ and that ‘the area in question is used to store Iranian Revolutionary Guard equipment.’

While Israel refused to confirm nor deny responsibility for the second aerial-raid; It has been revealed that on Sunday morning, a Boeing 747 belonging to an Iranian airliner landed in the Syrian T4 Airbase, before departing back to Tehran only three hours later.