image Photo: Flash90

Israel counterattacks for Syrian missile strike

Air raid sirens blared in many parts of the Jewish State warning of an incoming anti-aircraft missile fired from the Arab Republic.

By Erin Viner

Israel’s defense systems were not activated to intercept the Syrian SA-5 rocket, which set off sirens near the Arab-Israeli town of Umm el Fahm, some about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Jerusalem, as well as the northern part of the West Bank. The missile ultimately exploded mid-air over the West Bank in an explosion heard across large sections of northern Israel, Judea and Samaria.

No injuries or damage were reported in the overnight violence, which marks the 4th time Syrian anti-aircraft missiles entered Israeli territory in the past 18 months.

In response, the Israeli military attacked missile batteries in Syria.

In a rare acknowledgement of the mission, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed strikes on Syrian targets. “Following the anti-aircraft missile launch earlier tonight, the Israel Defense Forces attacked surface-to-air missile batteries and radar that fired at Israeli Air Force planes,” the military announced on Twitter.

Syrian state television claimed Israel’s “aggression” followed an earlier strike on Damascus that originated southeast of Lebanon’s capital Beirut.  The report added that Syrian air defenses intercepted some the Israeli surface-to-surface missiles in the subsequent strikes said to have been launched from the Golan Heights. A military source who cited said 1 Syrian soldier was killed and 5 others were wounded in the attacks, which also caused unspecified material damage.

The IDF declined to comment on the claims of an initial Israeli attack near the Syrian capital.

Israel has mounted frequent attacks against Iranian targets in Syria, where Tehran-backed forces led by Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror organization have supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his nation’s civil war that erupted in 2011.

Jerusalem rarely makes official statements regarding its military operations in Syria, but it has repeatedly warned it will take any and all necessary action to prevent the Islamic Republic and its proxy militias from entrenching themselves just over Israel’s northern frontier.