Israel attacks Syrian targets near occupied Golan Heights

Syrian media says three soldiers were killed and seven injured in attacks Israel says were a response to rocket fire.

    Israel has acknowledged carrying out dozens of air attacks in Syria on Iranian targets and Tehran's allies [File: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters]
    Israel has acknowledged carrying out dozens of air attacks in Syria on Iranian targets and Tehran's allies [File: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters]

    Israel has attacked Syrian military positions in the country's south, killing three soldiers and wounding seven others, Syria's state-run media reported.

    The Israeli military confirmed the attack that took place early on Sunday in a series of tweets, saying it was in response to two rockets fired from Syria at Mount Hermon late on Saturday. One of the rockets landed in Israel but no damage or injuries were reported. 

    State news agency SANA quoted an unnamed military official as saying the Israeli attacks struck military positions in the southern region of Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. They also caused material damage, it said.

    The Israeli military said the targets included two artillery batteries, several observation and intelligence posts and an SA2 air defence unit.

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    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition's war monitor, said Israeli warplanes struck positions and an arms depot of Iranian troops and Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters.

    Hezbollah is a Lebanese armed and political group that, along with Iran, supports Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

    Israel has acknowledged carrying out dozens of air raids in Syria on Iranian targets and Tehran's allies.

    Last week, Israeli aircraft hit a Syrian military post after the army said an anti-aircraft missile was fired at one of its fighter jets. Syrian media said a soldier was killed in that attack.

    Israel says it is determined to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs al-Assad in the country's eight-year-long war which has killed more than 370,000 people.

    This second exchange of fire between Syria and Israel in a week comes amid heightened tensions over Iran, after US President Donald Trump last year pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme. 

    In recent weeks, the US and some of its Gulf allies have accused Iran of aggression, including attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. 

    Tehran has strongly denied involvement in the incidents. 

    SOURCE: News agencies