Israeli Warplanes Launch New Airstrikes on Damascus

(MEE— Israel’s military said it carried out strikes on Iranian targets in Syria early Monday after it intercepted a rocket fired from Syrian territory hours before.

It said in a statement earlier that it was “currently striking” the Iranian Quds Force in Syria and warned Syria’s military against “attempting to harm Israeli territory or forces”, AFP said. It provided no further details on the raids.

The Quds Force is in charge of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ overseas operations.

Syrian state media cited a Syrian military source as saying Israel launched an “intense attack through consecutive waves of guided missiles”, but that Syrian air defences destroyed most of the “hostile targets”.

Witnesses in Damascus said loud explosions rang out in the night sky for nearly an hour.

The overnight strikes followed cross-border attacks on Sunday in which Syria said it repelled an Israeli air attack, Reuters reported. Israel then said it intercepted a rocket fired at the Golan Heights.

“We have a permanent policy, to strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and hurt whoever tries to hurt us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

The Israeli army said a popular winter sports site on Mount Hermon in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights would be shut for the day. It added that otherwise things remained “routine” along the frontier with Syria.

Israel has pledged to stop its main enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria.

It has carried out hundreds of air strikes there against what it says are Iranian military targets and advanced arms deliveries to Tehran-backed Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia militia.

Usually silent about its attacks on Iranian targets near its frontier, Israel has lifted the veil this month, a sign of confidence in a campaign waged amid occasional tensions with Syria’s big-power backer Russia.

Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have been speaking more openly about the Syria strikes in recent days, with some analysts saying the premier seems to want to further burnish his security credentials ahead of 9 April elections.

By MEE and agencies Republished with permission / Middle East Eye / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

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