Anti-aircraft missiles fired at Israel's Hermon, fall inside Syria

This is the second such incident in less than a week.

By
June 7, 2019 00:15
2 minute read.
An old military vehicle on the Israeli side of the border with Syria, near Magdal Shams

An old military vehicle on the Israeli side of the border with Syria, near the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, Israel, February 2018. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

 
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Several anti-aircraft missiles were fired toward Mount Hermon from Syria on Thursday, the second such incident in under a week.

“IDF radars identified a number of anti-aircraft missiles fired from Syria,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit told The Jerusalem Post, adding that none fell in Israeli territory or posed a threat.

The incident came just days after five Syrian soldiers were killed in an alleged Israeli attack on the T4 airbase in the eastern Homs province on Sunday night, a day after a limited clash between Israel and Syria.

According to an assessment by ImageSat International (ISI), the strike on T4 likely took out an advanced weapons system that had been delivered from Iran a day earlier “probably related to UAVs and possibly including a transportable ground control structure.”

On Saturday, two rockets were launched from Syria toward Mount Hermon, one of which landed inside Israeli territory. In response, the IAF struck several Syrian military positions in southwestern Damascus and Quneitra, killing three soldiers and injuring seven others.

The retaliatory strikes targeted two artillery batteries, a number of observation posts near the border, and an SA-2 air defense battery.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he had “instructed the IDF to take strong action” in response to the rocket fire on Saturday that targeted the Mount Hermon ski resort.

“We are not prepared to tolerate rocket fire at our territory, and will respond with great force to any aggression against us,” he said, adding, “This has consistently been my policy, and this is what we will continue to do for Israel’s security.”

The rockets fired this past week are not believed to be spillover from internal fighting in Syria – as was the case in past rocket fire on Israel’s north – as there are not any Syrian operations in the area close to the border with Israel’s Golan Heights.

According to some reports, the rockets fired on Saturday night appeared to have been fired from the area of Damascus, 40 km. away, similar to a January attack against Mount Hermon that the IDF said at the time was a “premeditated” attack that Iran had hoped would deter Israel from carrying out airstrikes against their assets.

During that attack, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted the Iranian-made surface-to-surface model with a range of some 200 km. and a payload of hundreds of kilograms of explosives that was fired from the outskirts of Damascus.

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over Iran’s presence in Syria and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are redlines for the Jewish state.

In April, the IDF announced that Hezbollah has been building a terrorist network in Syria’s Golan Heights.

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