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Israel jets strike targets in Syria in retaliation for Golan Heights attack

August 4, 2020 at 2:20 pm

Israeli troops are pictured in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on the border with Syria on 3 January, 2020 [JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel launched air strikes on Syrian military targets in southern Syria late yesterday, after thwarting an attack near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Reuters reported.

According to the state-run news agency Sana, Israeli helicopters fired rockets at Syrian army positions near Quneitra in the south but caused only material damage.

It also said air defences had gone into action near the Syrian capital.

“The targets struck include observation posts and intelligence collection systems, anti-aircraft artillery facilities and command and control systems in SAF (Syrian Armed Forces) bases,” the army said in a statement.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks along the Israel-Syria frontier after a fighter of the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shia group, Hezbollah, was killed in an apparent Israeli strike on the edge of Damascus.

READ: Israel conducts military drill near Lebanon border

Last month, Israeli army helicopters struck military targets in southern Syria in retaliation for earlier “munitions” fire towards Israel.

Following the killing of two Hezbollah members in Damascus last year, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the group’s leader, vowed it would respond if Israel killed any more of its fighters in the country.

Hezbollah has deployed fighters in Syria as part of Iranian-backed efforts to support President Bashar Al-Assad in a conflict that began after government forces brutally cracked down against peaceful protests calling for change in 2011.

Israel sees the presence of Hezbollah and its ally Iran in Syria as a strategic threat and has mounted hundreds of raids on Iranian-linked targets there. It captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, and the area remains occupied.