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Israel attacks Syria over rockets fired at Mount Hermon

02 June 2019, MVT 10:57
Smoke billows following reported Syrian government forces' bombardment on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the jihadist-held Idlib province, on June 1, 2019. (Photo by Anas AL-dyab / AFP)
02 June 2019, MVT 10:57

The Israeli military attacked Syrian military positions in response to rockets fired from Syria at Mount Hermon in the occupied Golan Heights, the army said Sunday.

Two rockets were fired from Syria at Mount Hermon late Saturday, with the army saying in a Sunday statement that one of them was "located within Israeli territory."

In response the army attacked "two Syrian artillery batteries, a number of observation and intelligence posts on the Golan Heights, and an SA-2 aerial defense battery," the statement said.

"During the strikes, an Israeli aerial defense system was activated due to Syrian anti-aircraft shooting. None of the rockets exploded in Israel."

A statement from the military said it held the Syrian regime accountable "for every action taken against Israel."

The Syrian army's anti-aircraft defence was activated Sunday against "enemy missiles" fired from Israel at "positions" in southwest Damascus, the official SANA news agency quoted a military source as saying.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "warehouses and positions" in the Kesswa region, where Syrian and Iranian forces and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters allied to Damascus have been stationed, were targeted.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had ordered the strike at Syria.

"We won't tollerate fire at our territory, and respond forcefully to any aggression against us," he said.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria, most of them against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

Israel says it is determined to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs President Bashar al-Assad in the country's eight-year war which has killed more than 370,000 people.

The Jewish state insists that it has the right to continue to target positions in Syria held by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

On May 27 Syria said Israel carried out a missile attack in Quneitra, in what the Israeli army said was retaliation for anti-aircraft fire targeting one of its fighter jets.

Syrian air defence batteries intercepted projectiles coming from Israel and downed a number of them on May 17, according to SANA.

The Syrian province of Quneitra includes the Golan Heights, most of which is occupied and annexed by Israel.

In January, Israel hit Iranian positions in Syria, saying it was in response to an Iranian missile strike from the war-torn country. According to the Observatory, 21 people, mainly Iranians, were killed in these raids.

The latest reported strike comes amid soaring tensions in the region between Iran and the United States.

The stand-off had been simmering since the United States last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear treaty which Iran reached with major world powers.

In recent weeks the US accused Iran of alleged threats and deployed an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf.

Jerusalem, Undefined | AFP

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