Israel Strikes Syria Following Rocket Fire; 10 Syrian, Iranian, Hezbollah Militants Said Killed

Israel says airstrikes targeted military sites in Syria after rockets fired at Golan Heights ■ Watchdog reports 10 killed, seven of which said to be Iranian, Hezbollah militants

Image released by Israeli military of strike in Syria early on June 2, 2019.
Image released by Israeli military of strike in Syria early on June 2, 2019.Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

>> Update: Israel strikes Iranian airbase in Syria

The Israeli army confirmed Sunday that it had struck a number of military targets in Syria overnight Saturday after two rockets were fired toward the Golan Heights.

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 29Credit: Haaretz

Syrian state media reported that three Syrian soldiers were killed and seven were wounded in the strike, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 10 were killed, seven of which were Iranian and Hezbollah militants.

Another outlet, aligned with the Assad regime, reported that five Syrians were killed. The Syrian government has not confirmed either report.

>> Video shows Syrian rocket hitting Israeli ski resort on Mount Hermon

Israel said its air force struck a number of targets, including two artillery batteries, a number of observation posts near the border, and an air defense battery.

Syrian state media said rockets were fired by Israel into the province of Quneitra, which borders Israel. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights meanwhile reported that the strike targeted Iranian and Hezbollah facilities.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday on Twitter that he had held "security consultations after Saturday's rocket fire at the Golan Heights, in which I instructed the army to respond firmly.

"We will not tolerate fire in our territory and are retaliating with might against any aggression against us. This is a consistent policy that I've been leading and will continue leading for Israel's security," Netanyahu said.

No injuries were reported when the rockets were fired at Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights on Saturday night, and the Israeli army noted that the incident is being looked into.

According to initial assessments by the Israeli army, the rockets were not fired by mistake toward Israel and were not errant fire spilling over from internal fighting in Syria, as has sometimes been the case in similar incidents. This assessment is based on the fact that there currently aren't any massive exchanges of fire in Syrian territory close to the border with Israel.

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One of the rockets struck an unpopulated area near a military outpost on Mount Hermon, while the other landed in Syria.

On Monday, the Israeli military said it struck a Syrian military target in Quneitra after an anti-aircraft missile was launched earlier at an Israeli fighter jet.

A report in the Lebanese media outlet Al Mayadeen said an Israeli drone struck a surveillance system in southern Lebanon. An additional report said the Lebanese army was at the scene investigating the device, which is said to be Israeli.

According to Syrian state media, one officer was killed and two others were wounded in the strike, which took place Monday afternoon. The report added that Syrian air defense attacked an unmanned aerial vehicle that entered Syrian airspace near the southern suburb.

Following the attack, Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would respond "fiercely and forcefully" in the event of a Syrian attack on Israel.

Israeli intelligence assessments recently warned that Iran and the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah may initiate incidents that would lead to an escalation in the Golan Heights, as part of Tehran's efforts to combat U.S. sanctions and Israeli strikes against Iranian forces in Syria.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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