Smoke rises past a mountain as seen from Damascus countryside, Syria December 25, 2018.
(photo credit: OMAR SANADIKI/REUTERS)
Israeli policy for attacking targets in Syria has changed and is intensifying, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said Monday morning in an interview with Army Radio.
In response to a missile launch by Iranian forces from Syria into Israeli territory which intended to hit the northern Golan Heights, IDF fighter planes attacked Syrian military targets and Syrian air defense batteries overnight on Sunday and early Monday morning.
"This was a clear message to the Iranians," Katz said in the interview.
As opposed to previous strikes, the IDF took responsibility for the strikes in real time, a clear change in policy. Until now, Israel has remained ambiguous about its actions in Syria, rarely admitting that it was behind mysterious overnight bombings there.
"The policy has changed," Katz said. "This is an open confrontation with Iran. When we need to step it up, we'll step it up." He added that Israel was intensifying its attacks against the Iranians' terror ambitions in Syria.
"We won't allow their entrenchment in Syria," he said. Katz said the missile launch at Israel was clearly aimed at the Hermon in the northern Golan Heights. "Whoever attacks us will pay a heavy price," he warned.
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