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 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."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, goes to shake hands with President of Chad Idriss Deby, during a joint press conference, in Jerusalem, Nov. 25, 2018.
Israeli Leader Visits Africa to Restore Relations with Chad

Israel and Chad restored diplomatic relations after nearly 50 years as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the central African nation on Sunday.

The visit and official announcement marked a milestone in Netanyahu's recent policy of seeking out new allies among developing countries that have historically sided with the Palestinians at the United Nations and other international forums.
 
The visit comes after Chad's President Idriss Deby visited Jerusalem in November during which the leaders discussed cooperation in agriculture, counterterrorism, border protection and technology.

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.

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