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Report: Syrian army fires anti-aircraft missile at Israeli fighter jet

An IAF F-15I fighter jet
Reuters
Escalation follows statement by Islamic Jihad, which vowed to retaliate against Israel for air strikes

The Syrian army fired an anti-aircraft missile at an Israeli fighter jet that had crossed into Syrian airspace near Quneitra, a Syrian city near to the Israel-Syria border, the Lebanese news network Al Mayadeen reported late Friday. Israeli sources confirmed the report to i24news.

Earlier in the day, Israel struck a vehicle in Syria containing five people believed to be members of Islamic Jihad. Al Mayadeen reported that three of the people killed in the strike were Palestinian.

While the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terror group has not yet confirmed this, they promised retaliation against Israel for air strikes carried out in Syrian territory following a spate of rocket fire in northern Israel on Thursday.

The Hamas-linked Palestinian news site Safa reported that a member of Islamic Jihad’s political bureau, Muhammad al-Hindi, said he was unaware of any causalities from the group in Syria, but if true, “the movement will know how to protect its sons.”

The strikes carried out by Israel on Thursday came in response to the firing of four rockets into Israel from Syria, which targeted a cell believed to be responsible for the rocket attacks.

Menahem Kahana (AFP/File)

The IDF announced on Friday that it had destroyed the squad that launched rockets from Syria to Israel.

"I said this week that whoever tries to hurt us, we will hut them. And that's what we did," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"We have no intention of escalating the situation, but our policy still stands," he said. "It's up to the countries that are rushing to Iran to know that it was an Iranian commander who sponsored the squad that fired against Israel."

Syrian state television reported that the new Israeli raid on Syrian-controlled territory in the Golan Heights killed at least five people, describing those killed as "unarmed civilians."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group, said the strike killed two pro-regime militiamen travelling in a car.

"The destroying of the squad that fired into Israel yesterday is further proof that we will not tolerate any attempt to disrupt our lives or to harm the security of Israel's citizens," Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said. 

Israel strikes 14 Syrian army positions

Israel said that it carried out strikes on 14 Syrian army positions in the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights on Thursday night in response to rocket fire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group that relies on a network of sources in the war-torn country, said two soldiers had been killed and eight wounded.

There was no claim of responsibility but Israel blamed the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad which it said was backed by Iran.

Marc Femsohn pour i24news

SANA for its part said an Israeli helicopter had fired rockets on Quneitra in the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights. The strikes hit two local government buildings but caused only material damage, it said.

Israel had warned the government in war-wracked Syria that it would "suffer the consequences" after Thursday's rocket attacks, which it said had been masterminded by a senior Iranian official.

"This was the work of Islamic Jihad, an organization financed and working for Iran, and we consider the Syrian government responsible for the firing and it will suffer the consequences," the army had said in a statement.

Thursday's tit-for-tat strikes came as Mohammed Allan, a Palestinian detainee who Islamic Jihad says is one of its members, ended a two-month hunger strike over his detention without trial by the Israeli authorities.

The Islamic Jihad denied the military's accusation, saying it was not behind the rocket fire.

"This is an attempt by the (Israeli) occupier to turn attention away from the crimes it is committing against the Palestinian prisoners, and in particular Mohammed Allan," a statement by the group said.

The rockets, two of which landed near a kibbutz in the Hula Valley in the Upper Galilee caused fires but no injuries, despite the site being a busy holiday spot, the Israeli military and security sources said.

Tsahal

Sirens warning of incoming rockets were activated across the north prior to the landings.

The incident represents the first instance of deliberate rocket fire from Syria at Israel in some 40 years, after a few instances of accidental spillover of the hostilities in the war-ravaged country in recent years.

At a press briefing earlier in the day, a senior IDF officer said that Iran is using the Syrian Golan Heights to carry out a number of attacks on Israel.

"It's clear that Iran is behind all of the terror attacks here [in the Golan] in the past two years," the officer was quoted by Haaretz as saying. "The Iranians are using the border – they establish units – whether it's [Imad] Mughniyeh, [Samir] Kuntar, and more – to carry out [the attacks]."

The officer added that the Iranian regime was transferring funds, providing training and sending advisers to Syria to help the Islamist group Hezbollah.

Comments

(5)

I am sure the IDF will "deal" with the culprits,, tenfold.

THE IDF 5 SYRIA 0 I said tenfold but fives not a bad score hey FARMER..

These were definitely "LEGITIMATE" targets hey Famer,,Israel is attacked for no reawson other than they are jews..but in fact Israel is still officially at war with Syria, so can even attack first if it feels like HEY FARMER..yeah IDF 5 SYRIA 0

UN is not condemning the rocket fire either. Not even a tweet. Typical .....

MICHAEL FARMER is very quiet again! No comment Farmer on this unprovokes attack by a muslim state on Israel? Dont you think the UNITED NOTHINGS SHOULD HAVE CONDEMNED this unprovoked attack on Israel? Isuppose you will choose to say nothing as usual when Israel is attacked for no reason hey FARMER. Still I suppose the revenge was sweet HEY Farmer!! ISRAEL 5 SYRIA 0

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