Israel strikes Syria, Lebanon following rocket attacks, military says

Israel’s latest attacks on the neighbouring countries comes amid fears of broader conflict across the Middle East.

Israeli fighter jets launched strikes on targets in Syria and Lebanon overnight, according to Israel's military [File: Amir Cohen/Reuters]

Israel has carried out strikes against military infrastructure in Syria and Lebanon, its military has said, amid concerns the country’s offensive against Hamas could devolve into broader conflict across the Middle East.

Israeli fighter jets struck rocket launchers in Syria and Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in response to earlier rocket launches into Israeli territory, Israel’s military said early on Monday.

Some of the airstrikes targeted army posts in the south-western Syrian city of Daraa, Syria’s defence ministry said, leading to “some material losses.”

The ministry said Israel had struck at around 1:35 am (2335 GMT) “from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting two positions of our armed forces in the Daraa countryside.”

Israel’s military has been engaged in cross-border fighting with the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah and has launched repeated air raids on Syria since launching its war on Hamas.

The United States has also carried out attacks on Syria in response to a sharp rise in rocket and drone attacks on its forces in Syria and Iraq, which it has blamed on Iran-backed proxy groups.

On Thursday, the Pentagon said it had carried out strikes on two facilities in Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran-backed groups after President Joe Biden earlier pledged to respond to attacks on US personnel.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned of regional escalation if Israel continues its war against Hamas, saying earlier this month that, “Muslims and resistance forces will become impatient, and no one can stop them.”

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the conflict could spill “beyond the borders of the Middle East” if Israel did not end its bombardment of Gaza.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said in an interview with ABC News that there is a “real” risk of the war escalating into a wider regional conflict.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told CNN on Saturday that his country did not want to see the war spread and that it was “totally wrong” for Washington to blame Tehran for attacks on its forces without providing proof.

Iran, which backs both Hamas and Hezbollah, has denied any role in Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel. US and Israeli officials have said they have not found evidence of its involvement.

Iranian government officials, however, offered their congratulations to the Palestinian armed group, describing the surprise attack as a victory for “the anti-Zionist resistance”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies