Israel says it launched a missile strike that hit almost all of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria in response to an alleged rocket attack by Iran on Israeli-claimed territory Golan Heights late last night.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) fired around 70 missiles into Syrian territory during raids, according to Russia’s defence ministry.
“Twenty-eight Israeli F-15 and F-16 aircraft were used in the attack, which released around 60 air-to-ground missiles over various parts of Syria. Israel also fired more than ten tactical ground-to-ground missiles,” the ministry said in a statement.
Russia said that Syria’s defence systems shot down more than half of the missiles and Syria’s military said the Israeli strike had killed three people.
The IDF claimed that the strike was in response to around 20 Grad and Fajr-5 rockets fired overnight at their occupied posts in the Golan Heights. They alleged that the missiles were fired from Syria by the Quds Force, which is part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. No Israeli casualties were reported as a result of the Iranian attack.
The IDF said on Twitter that ‘a number of rockets were intercepted by the IDF’s Iron Dome aerial defence system’. The mobile, all-weather anti-missile system is designed to destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from a distance of 4km to 70km and is the first system of its kind in the world.
Iran’s government has not yet issued a response to the Israeli accusations or the military strikes, but if confirmed it would be the first time Iranian forces have fired rockets directly at Israeli forces.
The two states have been battling for influence in the Middle East region, but have typically acted through proxy movements.
The escalating conflict also follows US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Tuesday night that he was pulling the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-implementing sanctions on Tehran.