Israel Launches Airstrikes on Syria in Response to 2 Rocket Attacks! (9.4.2023)

Source: Xinhua Editor: huaxia 2023-04-09

JERUSALEM, April 9 (Xinhua) — Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it launched airstrikes on Syria early on Sunday after a second rocket barrage was fired from Syria towards the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.

The rare rocket attacks from Israel’s northeastern neighbour overnight triggered sirens in the communities of Natur and Avnei Eitan in the Golan Heights. No injuries or damage were reported yet.

The IDF said in a statement that three rockets were launched from the Syrian territory towards Israel, one of which fell in an open area while another was intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system. It didn’t provide information about the third rocket.

After the second rocket salvo, IDF announced that it retaliated with artillery fire towards the area in Syria from which the rockets were launched. An unmanned aerial vehicle was striking “the launchers in Syria from which the rockets were launched,” it said.

Later, Israeli fighter jets attacked additional targets in Syria, including a military compound of the Fourth Division of the Syrian Armed Forces, military radar systems and Syrian artillery posts “in response to the rockets fired towards Israeli territory,” according to the IDF.

The Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV news reported that the Al-Quds Brigade, a Palestinian group based in Damascus, claimed responsibility for the rockets. The group said that the rockets were retaliation for Israeli police raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The unusual rocket attacks came amid days of escalating violence on multiple fronts. The Israeli army on Thursday and Friday struck southern Lebanon and Gaza Strip as Israel accused Hamas and other militant groups of being responsible for firing dozens of rockets at Israel.

The latest tension was triggered by Israeli raids of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, during a sensitive holiday time as Muslims were observing the holy month of Ramadan with prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Jews were commemorating the Passover holiday.

Over the past years, Israel has conducted a shadow war in Syria, with numerous airstrikes aimed at Iranian targets or weapons convoys belonging to Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese group. However, the Israeli-Syrian border has remained largely calm.

The Golan Heights is a disputed territory that Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981, in a move not recognized by most of the international community.