FILE PHOTO: An Israeli Air Force F-15 fighter jet © Amir Cohen / Reuters
“In response to several Syrian projectiles launched towards Israel, IDF targeted 2 Syrian regime artillery positions & an ammunitions truck,” the Israel Defense Forces tweeted on their official feed on Sunday afternoon.
The tweet came three hours after the IDF said Syrian projectiles had “hit an open area in the northern Golan Heights,” while noting that “no injuries were reported.”
Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that even shells reaching Israeli territory accidentally would be met with a swift retribution.
“Our policy is clear: We will not tolerate any spillover or trickle whatsoever – neither mortars nor rockets, from any front,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday, vowing “we will respond strongly to any attack on our territory or our citizens,” according to the AP.
On Saturday, the IDF ordered an airstrike less than an hour after about 10 stray shells landed on Israel’s side of the border near Quneitra, where President Assad’s forces are battling Al-Nusra Front militants. Israel said that two tanks were destroyed.
Citing military sources, Syria’s SANA state news agency reported: “Israeli warplanes attacked services facilities and residential buildings… claiming a number of lives and causing material damage.”
Israel does not openly participate in the Syrian conflict, but since 2013 it has carried out several officially unacknowledged air strikes on its neighbor’s territory. According to Israeli officials, these have targeted the weapons supply routes of the Hezbollah militant movement, Israel’s Lebanon-based adversary.
In March, Syria said that it had launched anti-aircraft missiles aimed at Israeli military jets after they conducted airstrikes near the city of Palmyra, and were returning to base. Syrian media reported that one plane was downed, but Israel denied any losses.
According to the IDF, one of the Syrian projectiles was itself intercepted by an Israeli Arrow-2 missile, prompting Israel to disclose that its planes were operating in foreign airspace.