IRANIAN forces in Syria have launched missiles at the Israeli military in the annexed Golan Heights region, Israel’s army has claimed.
An Israeli air defence (IDF) spokesman said “about 20 rockets” were fired by Iranian Quds Force at the Jewish state’s defensive line in the area – which has been occupied by Israel since 1967.
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus later confirmed to reporters that no one has been injured and that the army’s Iron Dome defence systems intercepted some of the missiles.
He said that Israeli forces had “responded” after several bases were targeted, adding: “The IDF sees this Iranian attack on Israel with severity. This event is not over.”
Fighter jets have also been seen flying over the area, which lies near the Syria’s southern border, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Shortly before the suspected strikes on the Golan Heights, reports within Syria claimed that Israel had attacked targets in the Quneitra province south of Damascus.
Syria’s state media said air defences had intercepted “hostile Israeli missiles” on early Thursday morning that were fired over the south west of the fortified capital city.
This comes after missiles strikes last night were attributed to Israel following reports of “irregular activity” of Iranian forces in Syria.
Campaigners said the strikes killing at least 15 people and targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.
The Israel Defence Forces has deployed Iron Dome defence systems and opened bomb shelters in Golan Heights and in northern Israel in preparation for a retaliatory strikes.
Tuesday’s strikes represent an immediate escalation in tensions in the region after US President Donald Trump walked away from the 2015 nuclear agreement Barack Obama struck with Iran.
Following America’s withdrawal from the deal, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said his country would develop nuclear weapons if Iran restarted its nuclear programme.
Known officially as the JCPOA, the so-called Iran deal was designed to curb Iranian nuclear ambitions while in return easing the sanctions crippling its economy.
Israel, which almost never confirms or denies airstrikes in Syria, did not comment on Tuesday’s attack.
Last month, an IDF attack on Syria’s T4 air base in Homs province killed seven Iranian military personnel.
On April 30, Israel was said to have struck government outposts in northern Syria, killing more than a dozen pro-government fighters, many of them Iranians.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied most of the airstrikes although for months it has repeatedly said it will not accept a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria.
In February, Israel shot down what it said was an armed Iranian drone that entered Israeli airspace.