Hezbollah Says Rocket Attack on Israel Marks 'New Phase' in Syrian War

In a televised speech Nasrallah said the rocket attack showed Syria and its allies are ready to go to 'the greatest extent' to defend Syria from Israel

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is seen on a video screen as he addresses his supporters in Beirut, May 14, 2018.
AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS

The leader of Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah group, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on Monday a missile attack from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights last week marked a new phase in the Syrian war. 

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Israel has said the attack was carried out by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, which set up Hezbollah in 1982. Shi'ite Hezbollah is fighting in Syria in support of President Bashar Assad.

In a televised speech Nasrallah said the rocket attack showed Syria and its allies are ready to go to "the greatest extent" to defend Syria from Israel. He did not say who had carried out the attack. 

Nasrallah said 55 missiles were launched from Syrian territory in the attack. Israel had said 20 missiles were shot down by its Iron Dome defense system in the attack on Thursday. 

Last week, Israel attacked dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in what the military said was the most extensive strike in the neighboring country in decades.

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The Israeli military accused the Revolutionary Guards' Al Quds force and its commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, of launching the attack at the Israeli Golan Heights. This is the first time Israel has directly accused Iran of firing toward Israeli territory.

Four of the rockets were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome air defense system and the rest of the rockets exploded on Syrian territory, the military said. Israel said there were no casualties in the attack.

Russia's Defense Ministry said that the Israeli strike on Syria used 28 planes, fired 70 missiles, adding that Syria shot down more than half of Israeli missiles.