Two missiles fired toward Israel's Golan Heights from Syria

IDF says no damage or injuries after reports that one missile fell near Mount Hermon

June 2, 2019 14:24
3 minute read.
Rocket interception

Rockets launched from Gaza Strip towards Israel is seen as rocket by Iron Dome anti-missile system is fired to intercept them. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Two missiles were fired from Syria toward Israel’s Golan Heights on Saturday night, the IDF confirmed.

The military said it was checking reports that one of the missiles landed near the Mount Hermon ski resort while the other landed inside Syrian territory.

There were no incoming rocket sirens activated and no interception of the rockets. The military said there was no damage or injuries.

The rockets fired on Friday are not believed to be spillover from internal fighting in Syria as was the case in past rocket fire on the country’s North, as there are not any Syrian operations in the area close to the border with the Golan.

On Monday, the IDF struck a Syrian military position near Quneitra after an anti-aircraft missile was launched at a fighter jet flying in Israeli territory. According to reports, the Israeli strike killed a Syrian officer and soldier and damaged a military vehicle.

In 2018, Syrian troops recaptured southern Syria seven years after losing the area to rebel groups at the start of that country’s civil war, and returned to their positions, along with Hezbollah operatives.

In January, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted an Iranian-made surface-to-surface model with a 200 km. range and a payload of hundreds of kilograms of explosives that was fired from the outskirts of Damascus.

According to Syrian reports, an hour earlier, Israeli jets had carried out a rare daytime strike on Iranian targets in Syria. No special instructions had been given to civilians and no warning siren sounded.

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

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, without the knowledge of Syrian President Bashar Assad, under the leadership of Ali Mussa Daqduq, who spent five years in an Iraqi prison for a 2007 attack against American troops in the Karbala Governorate.

“The Hezbollah terrorist organization has begun an attempt to establish and entrench a covert force in the Syrian Golan Heights that is designed to act against Israel when given the order,” the IDF said.

The Golan Project, headquartered in Damascus and Beirut, maintains tens of operatives in the Syrian towns of Hader, Quneitra and Erneh who collect intelligence on Israel and military movement on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.

In March, US President Donald Trump recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed plateau, and last month Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government would name a town there after the American leader in honor of his decision.

While approximately half of the Golan’s residents are Jewish Israelis, 27,000 are Druze, most of whom are Syrian citizens.

On Friday, Netanyahu said that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is in Israel ahead of the presentation of Trump’s “Deal of the Century,” had given him a State Department map updated to show the Golan Heights as part of Israel.

While Trump’s decision upended decades of US policy and drew international condemnation, the map that Kushner had given Netanyahu had a scribble by Trump that said “nice” with an arrow pointing toward the Golan.

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