The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) completed an investigation on a suspected attack on their troops from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.  

They published photos of Hezbollah operatives working with Syrian soldiers to carry out this attack.

IDF investigators said the planned attack was to take place near the village of Hader in the province of Qunietra. The IDF statement said that in the weeks leading up to the planned attack, IDF intelligence units identified suspicious movements by both Hezbollah fighters and Syrian soldiers in sensitive locations in the area. “[This] indicated the planning of an attack.”

Israel added that the operatives were seen filming the border with smartphones and professional cameras while measuring wind speed with an anemometer.

A Hezbollah operative measures wind and humidity in the area used for a sniper attack. IDF photo.

These are common actions taken to identify potential targets and improve a sniper’s accuracy. Winds, temperature, and humidity all can have an effect on the path and drop of a long-range sniper shot. Hezbollah and Syrian troops were trying to make the first shots as accurate as possible before the Israelis could react.

IDF helicopter gunships fired rockets and blew up a pickup truck in which a sniper team was located

“When there was an operational opportunity, the car being used by the cell was attacked by an IDF helicopter,” IDF’s statement read. “The IDF has an ongoing campaign against the Hezbollah terrorist organization on the Golan Heights and acts by various means to thwart terrorist attacks on the State of Israel. The State of Israel sees Syria, the sovereign, as responsible for all that happens in its territory.” This last sentence is a veiled threat at the Syrians that Israel will respond again if Hezbollah plans any other actions.

The Syrian state-run news agency SANA claimed that Israeli forces fired a missile at a civilian vehicle “in the suburbs of Quneitra.” However, the U.K.-based war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the vehicle hit by a missile from an IDF helicopter belonged to members of a militia loyal to the Syrian regime.