Israeli aircraft, flying over Lebanese airspace, launched missile attacks at several targets in Syria near the Golan Heights early Thursday morning.
The Syrian state-run news agency SANA, citing a military source, reported that the attacks took place in southern and central Syria and that Syrian air defense systems had intercepted all of the Israeli missiles.
“Enemy missiles were immediately dealt with, preventing any of them from reaching their targets,” the source said, but other reports that surfaced said that the attack took place in Quneitra province and elsewhere in the central part of the country. Quneitra is just over the border from Israel near the Golan Heights.
The area has been a frequent target of the Israeli Air Force since Iranian-led militias and Hezbollah units have been trying to set up bases near the Golan. The Israelis have made it clear that they will not accept Iranian bases or presence along their border. Some of those militias have fired rockets from Syria into Israel. And the Israelis have responded with airstrikes on bases, weapons depots, and missile sites.
SANA quoted this military source as saying that at 12.30 am early on Thursday morning “our air defense observed Israeli warplane movement… several missiles were fired towards the central region.”
Other witnesses on the ground reported that the Israelis fired eight missiles at Homs (T4) airport that targeted a site belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist organization as well as the Dabaa Military Airfield. Homs is about 125 miles from the Golan Heights.
“The hostile missiles were immediately dealt with and were successfully confronted, none was able to reach its target.” the Syrians reported but they routinely and falsely claim to have intercepted Israeli missiles during airstrikes.
The Israelis have not commented on the airstrikes as is their customary procedure. But they have taken responsibility for numerous airstrikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets inside of Syria. Official Syrian government sources have reported no casualties. However, the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported that one Syrian soldier was killed and four others were wounded in the two airstrikes, quoting unnamed Syrian military sources.
Earlier this week, the Israelis targeted a vehicle on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in Quneitra after the vehicle was used in a sniper attack on Israeli troops stationed on their side of the Golan Heights.
“A short time ago an IDF force identified an attempt at a sniping attack in the northern Golan Heights,” the military released in a statement. “The force attacked the vehicle involved in the attempted attack.”
An Israeli AH-64 Apache attack helicopter was sent and fired a missile at the vehicle which was completely destroyed. Syrian military sources reported that the truck belonged to a civilian; however, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the vehicle belonged to members of a militia loyal to the Syrian government.
Israel’s Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel would “cut off the hands of the enemy” in order to prevent further terrorist attacks. “Even on election day our enemies try to harm us,” he said in a statement. “This day too, as on every day, we will cut off the hands of the enemy and not allow them to hinder our daily lives.”
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