JERUSALEM (AFP) – An Israeli aircraft carried out a strike on Syria after 10 projectiles fired from the war-torn country hit the occupied Golan Heights on Saturday (June 24), an army spokesman said.
The Israeli Air Force also targeted two Syrian regime tanks in the northern part of the Golan, the spokesman said, adding the projectiles did not cause any casualties.
“Because of the unacceptable violation of Israeli sovereignty”, Israel has protested to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, which monitors a 1974 ceasefire between the two countries, he added.
The Israeli military posted a video on Twitter showing what it said were a machinegun position and two tanks being targeted from above and blown up.
Syria’s official news agency Sana confirmed the strike, saying it had killed an unspecified number of people and caused material damage.
Sana said “the Israeli enemy” fired several projectiles that hit the southern province of Quneitra on the Golan plateau, and accused the Jewish state of backing the rebels battling government forces.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor which has been reporting on Syria’s six-year-war, said two Syrian soldiers were killed in the Israeli strike.
It also reported fierce fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels in Quneitra.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would hit back hard in response to fire from any side in the Syria conflict.
“We will not accept any firing on our territory & we’ll respond forcefully to it,” his spokesman Ofir Gendelman quoted him as saying on Twitter.
Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel believes the Assad regime is “accountable for what is happening on the ground and will continue to suffer the consequences”.
“We are acting strongly, with determination,” the minister in a statement.
Israel has conducted multiple air strikes in Syria since that country’s civil war erupted in 2011, most of which it has said targeted arms convoys or warehouses of its Lebanese arch-foe Hezbollah, which is a key supporter of the Syrian regime.
In April, Israel shot down what it identified only as “a target” over the Golan, hours after Syria accused it of hitting a military position near Damascus airport.
Israel did not confirm or deny the reported Damascus attack.
Israel seized 1,200 sq km of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.
Around 510 sq km of the Golan are under Syrian control.
The Israeli side of the Golan has been hit sporadically by what is thought to be stray fire from fighting between forces loyal to Syria’s government and rebels.
Syria and Israel are still technically at war.