Friday, May 29, 2020

Iran forces launch missiles at Israel from Syria, IDF says

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Iranian forces based in Syria fired approximately 20 rockets toward Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, the Israeli military said late Wednesday.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its Iron Dome missile defense system had intercepted “some” of the incoming rockets. No injuries were reported.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Al Quds force had fired the rockets at several Israeli bases, though he would not say how Israel had determined the Iranian involvement. The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Israeli-controlled Golan.

Israel “views this Iranian attack very severely,” Conricus told reporters. He said Israel had responded, but did not provide details.

“This event is not over,” he added.

In a statement to Fox News, the IDF asked residents of the Golan Heights to remain in special “safety zones” for the time being.

Syria’s state news agency said early Thursday that Syrian air defenses had intercepted “hostile Israeli missiles,” and Syrian media later said the missiles were fired over southwestern Damascus.


The pro-Syrian government Al-Mayadeen TV said more than 50 missiles had been fired from Syria toward Israeli forces in the Golan Heights.

Earlier, Syria’s state news agency said rockets suspected to have been fired from Israel had hit southern Syria’s Quneitra province late Wednesday. Activists said it was artillery fire from Israeli positions in the Golan Heights. There were no reports of casualties.

Israel has been on heightened alert in recent days, anticipating a possible Iranian retaliation for a series of deadly strikes on its military positions in Syria.

Syrian state media said Israel struck a military outpost on Tuesday near the capital of Damascus. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard in Kisweh, killing at least 15 people, eight of them Iranians.

Just before midnight Wednesday, Syria state news agency reported that rockets suspected to be coming from Israel hit southern Syria’s Quneitra province. Activists said it was artillery fire from Israeli positions in the Golan Heights. There were no reports of any deaths.

Tensions between Israel and Iran are high over Iran’s efforts to expand its military presence in Syria, where it is a key ally of President Bashar Assad. Repeated airstrikes attributed to Israel have killed Iranian fighters and prompted threats of reprisal from Tehran. Meantime, President Donald Trump’s announcement Tuesday that the U.S. would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran has triggered uncertainty and threatened to spark more unrest in the Middle East.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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