by: Kate Norman
Monday, 3 June 2019 | “[Saturday] night, [two] rockets were launched from Syria to Israel, [one] landing within Israeli territory,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Sunday. “In response, we struck a number of Syrian Armed Forces military targets.”
One of the projectiles landed inside Syria and the other struck the Israeli Golan Heights, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at yesterday’s weekly Cabinet meeting. No casualties were reported, as the rocket landed in open territory away from civilians. Though it didn’t blame any particular group for launching the missiles, the IDF asserted that it holds “the Syrian regime accountable and will firmly operate against any attempt to harm Israeli civilians.”
The long-range rockets were reportedly launched out of the Damascus vicinity, according to the Times of Israel, nearly 22 miles (35 km) from the Golan. The attack was similar to a launch in January in which Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted a rocket above Mount Hermon that had also been launched from Syria.
Israel’s policy is to meet any aggression with a firm and strong response. This was Syria’s second attack on Israel within a week. Last Monday, an Israeli fighter jet on a routine flight within Israeli airspace was targeted by a missile from a Syrian anti-aircraft battery. Though the missile fell short and landed within Syrian territory, the IDF responded hours later by destroying the battery. According to Syrian media, the retaliatory strike killed one soldier.
Following Saturday night’s rocket launches, Netanyahu said he held security consultations and “ordered the IDF to take strong action, which it did, striking several targets.”
The IDF confirmed that early Sunday morning, Israeli warplanes and helicopters struck several Syrian and Iranian-proxy Hezbollah military targets in Damascus and Quneitra, including two artillery batteries, observation and intelligence posts and an aerial defense battery. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 10 people were killed in the strikes, including seven unspecified “foreign fighters.”
“We will not tolerate firing at our territory and we will respond with force to any aggression against us,” Netanyahu asserted. “This has been the consistent policy that I have led, together with the government, and this is what we will continue to do for the security of Israel.”
Late Sunday night, Israel reportedly carried out more airstrikes against an air base in Homs, Syria—located just north of the Lebanese border, according to Syrian media. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least five people were killed and three injured in the attack, which targeted an ammunition depot and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps warehouses.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the day before, a jumbo jet had just returned to the T4 airbase in Syria from Iran, possibly carrying weapons.
Hours before the most recent strikes, Netanyahu described Iran’s efforts to boost its proxies across the Mideast, including sending US $700 million a year to Hezbollah, its terror proxy in Lebanon. Israel has a rigid policy of preventing Iran from establishing a foothold of its own forces or its proxies on the doorstep of the Jewish state.
“While we do not make light of Iran’s threats, neither are we deterred by them because anyone who tries to hurt us will be hurt far worse.” Netanyahu asserted while speaking at a ceremony in celebration of Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the regaining of Israeli control over the Old City of Jerusalem following the Six-Day War of 1967. “We have proven this many times in the history of our state. We proved it just last night. We proved it in the six remarkable days that brought us back to parts of our ancient homeland.”
Posted on June 3, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 3, 2019)
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