Israeli Army Strikes Vehicle in Syria After Sniper Fire

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Israeli soldiers stand guard at the Quneitra border crossing of the Israeli annexed-Golan Heights, on March 23, 2019
Israeli soldiers stand guard at the Quneitra border crossing of the Israeli annexed-Golan Heights, on March 23, 2019Credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP

The Israeli army on Monday said it struck a vehicle near the town of Quneitra on the border of the Golan Heights in response to sniper fire.

Residents of the nearby town of Majdal Shams reported hearing loud explosions. In the hour since, attack helicopters have been passing over the northern Golan Heights.  

After the Israeli military said it struck a vehicle involved in the sniping incident, Syria's SANA state news agency reported that Israeli jets attacked a civilian car in the Quneitra suburbs. 

This comes after Israeli helicopters struck Syrian military positions in the Quneitra province in the Syrian Golan Heights and wounded three Syrian soldiers, Syria's official news agency SANA reported overnight Thursday.

Syrian state TV also reported that an Israeli drone fired a missile at a car in southern Syria, killing one person whom it named as a "civilian." Several other media outlets aligned with Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime said that the man was a local policeman.

The man is said to have been targeted while driving near the village of Hader, near Quneitra, in the Syrian Golan Heights.

Local media reports have identified the man as Imad Tawil, a senior Hezbollah official aiding Iran's efforts to secure a foothold on the Golan Heights. There was no immediate comment from Israel about the drone attack.

In a rare acknowledgment of operations in neighboring Syria, Israel said early last week that its warplanes struck Islamic Jihad targets south of Damascus, in addition to sites in the Gaza Strip.

The strike was a response to an Islamic Jihad barrage of more than 20 rockets into southern Israel after the death of one of its operatives, who was shot by Israeli forces after they said he was laying an explosive charge near the Gaza border fence.

Two weeks ago, SANA reported that Syrian air defense systems were activated following a strike near the Damascus Airport that came from the Golan Heights. The Al-Hadath news channel reported that seven militants were killed in the attack targeting Iranian-backed militias, citing the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights