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Israel Confirms Military Strike on Iranian Targets in Syria

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows missiles flying into the sky near international airport, in Damascus, Syria, Jan. 21, 2019

In a rare public admission, Israel confirmed early Monday that it carried out airstrikes on Iranian military targets inside Syria.

"We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory. We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory," the military tweeted.

It gave no further details.

But Israel launched the airstrikes after it intercepted a missile over the Golan Heights, hours after what Syria says were missiles fired near the Damascus airport.

Israel rarely makes any comments on military action in Syria. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a visit to Chad, "We have a defined policy — to harm Iranian entrenchment in Syria and to harm anyone who tries to harm us."

Israel wants to avoid getting involved in Syria's civil war. It has appealed to Russia — the Syrian government's top ally — to keep Iranian forces away from a zone near the Syrian-Israeli border.