Israel carries out ‘wide-scale strikes’ on Syrian and Iranian targets
Israel said it carried out “wide-scale strikes” on “Iranian and Syrian terror targets,” in the early hours of Wednesday, after explosions were reported around the Syrian capital of Damascus.
The strikes were aimed at targets from the Iranian Quds Force, a force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, and the Syrian military, the Israeli military tweeted.
Israel was responding to rockets it said were fired in its direction by Iranian forces in Syria the previous night.
“We hold the Syrian regime responsible for the actions that take place in Syrian territory and warn them against allowing further attacks against Israel,” the Israeli military tweeted.
“We will continue operating firmly and for as long as necessary against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria.”
The Syrian air defence system intercepted an “intense Israeli aggression” and destroyed most rockets used in the attack, Syrian state media reported.
Two civilians were killed after shrapnel from an Israeli rocket hit a house in the town of Saasa, south-west of Damascus, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported. Others were also injured in the same area, the agency added without giving details.
Israel said Syria’s air force had fired a rocket in spite of warnings not to do so.
The Wednesday strikes come a day after the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said the Israeli army had fired five rockets towards the south of Damascus, several of which were intercepted.
Earlier this month, three Israeli rocket attacks west of the Syrian capital Damascus targeted the house of Akram al-Ajouri, a top leader of the Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
Al-Ajouri was not killed in the attack, although his son and another died.
The Israeli army has in the past targeted Shiite militias, including operatives from the Quds Force, which it says were responsible for attacks from Syria aimed at Israel.
Israel defends the strikes by saying it is trying to prevent Iran from building up its military influence in the region.
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