Israel said Thursday its fighter jets struck dozens of Iranian military targets inside of Syria overnight in response to rockets attacks by Iranian forces on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The Israeli military said its airstrikes focused on intelligence sites, weapons storage and logistics centers, and that the jets also destroyed several Syrian air defense systems.
It also warned it would “not allow the Iranian threat to establish itself in Syria” and said Syria’s government will be held accountable for “everything happening in its territory.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a security conference Israel struck “almost all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria.” He added, “I hope that we ended this chapter and that everyone understood.”
Iran is a Syrian ally, and its military has been supporting President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia, another Assad backer, called for both Israel and Iran to show restraint, while French President Emmanuel Macron called for a de-escalation between the two sides.
Syria’s state-run SANA news agency reported Israeli airstrikes hitting air defense positions, radar stations and an ammunition depot while saying anti-aircraft systems were able to shoot down dozens of Israeli missiles.
Israel blamed Iran’s Al Quds force for firing missiles targeting Israeli military positions in the Golan Heights, and said no damage and no casualties were reported.
In the past, Israel has rarely commented on its military activity in Syria where it is believed to have conducted multiple sets of airstrikes against Iranian forces.
Israel has been on high alert in recent days after Iran threatened retaliation for a series of airstrikes on its military positions inside Syria last month that killed at least seven Iranians. Iran blames Israel for those strikes, while Israel has not confirmed or denied the attacks.
Israeli intelligence has said it anticipated possible Iranian action after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear agreement with Iran.