Israel said it targeted Iranian positions in Syria early on Monday after intercepting a rocket on its soil, launched from Syrian territory, on Sunday (January 20th).
The Israeli army "Strikes right now"that is to say, in the early morning, the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria, she wrote in a statement, without further details on the number of shots.
She also warned Syrian forces against "Any attempt to strike the territory or the forces of Israel", referring to the rocket that she said intercepted Sunday, drawn according to her from the north of the Golan Heights, Syrian territory. The Israeli media spoke of a ground-to-ground missile.
Israeli soldiers with Mount Bental in the background of Israel's occupied Golan Heights on 20 January 2019 / AFP
Strikes in the vicinity of Damascus
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) has reported Israeli missile strikes in the area of Damascus airport and the environs of the capital. The bombing hit Iranian and Hezbollah-owned arms, the Lebanese Shiite militia supported by Tehran, according to the NGO.
Monday morning in Damascus, the official Syrian news agency Sana reported that the Syrian anti-aircraft defense fought back in the night from Sunday to Monday to new shots 'Enemies' against Syria, after Israeli strikes carried out Sunday in the day in the south of the country. "Our anti-aircraft defense has responded to enemy targets and targeted several"said Sana without further details.
The official news agency of the regime of President Bashar Al Assad also reported on the overflight by the Israeli air force "Over Lebanese territory and fire from Galilee and Lake Tiberias", indicating that the anti-aircraft defense had successfully intercepted "Dozens of enemy targets".
Israel has promised to prevent Iran, its main enemy, from strengthening militarily in Syria.
"To undermine the rooting of Iran"
In recent months, the Israeli army has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria against Iranian military targets and weapons to be delivered to Hezbollah. But it is rare for Israel to publicly confirm that it has carried out strikes in Syria.
Syria and Israel accuse each other of strikes on their territory
"We have a well-established policy: to undermine Iran's roots in Syria and to harm anyone who tries to harm us"Sunday, Jan. 20, told reporters Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu during a trip to Chad.
A week earlier, Benyamin Netanyahu had acknowledged that Israeli warplanes carried out a raid two days earlier on Iranian "weapons warehouses" inside the Damascus International Airport, a rare confirmation from an Israeli official.
Some analysts believe that the prime minister and other Israeli officials are more vocal about Syrian theater in order to increase Benyamin Netanyahu's credibility in the run-up to the April 9 legislative elections.
But in doing so, Israel may embark on a military escalation with Syria and Iran, but also irritate Russia, the support of the Damascus regime.
The Russian army said on Sunday: "Four F-16 Israeli Forces aircraft fired rockets into Syrian territory". In this communique, Moscow reported on the destruction of "Seven Israeli rockets" by Syrian anti-aircraft defense.
Military cooperation between the Jewish state and Moscow has been complicated since an incident in September, when the Syrian anti-aircraft defense mistakenly shot down a Russian plane during an Israeli strike. The fifteen Russian soldiers on board had been killed.
Syrian defense mistakenly shot down Russian plane
Moscow then equipped Damascus with the more advanced S-300 anti-aircraft system, making Israeli operations more difficult.
An image taken by AFP TV on January 17, 2019 shows Russian army military vehicles patrolling the region of Arimah (northwestern Syria). / / AFP / Archives
Israel has since tried to maintain coordination with Russia while retaining full discretion to carry out bombings on Syrian territory.
On Thursday, military officials from both countries concluded a series of talks aimed at improving their coordination on conflict-ridden Syrian theater.
In Syria, Bashar Al Assad begins his comeback
Launched in 2011 by the bloody repression of pro-democracy protests by the Assad regime, the Syrian conflict has become more complex over the years with the involvement of regional and foreign powers and jihadist groups in fragmented territory.
It killed more than 360,000 people, displaced millions and refugees, and upset the regional geopolitical balance.