Israel Strikes Syria After Rare Rocket Attack on Golan Heights

On the heels of the most intense exchange of fire across the Israel-Lebanon border since 2006, violence erupted on a different front over Saturday night, as a rare rocket attack on the Israel-occupied Golan Heights was carried out by Palestinian militants in Syria.

The Al Quds Brigade claimed responsibility, according to a Beirut television station. The Palestinian militia headquartered in Damascus said the volley of rockets was an act of retaliation for a brutal Israeli police raid on the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem earlier in the week.

Israeli responded with waves of artillery fire, drone strikes and apparent missile strikes in Syria. The initial counter-strikes targeted rocket launchers, while later attacks hit an area near the Syrian capital, Damascus. Syria said its air defences intercepted some Israeli missiles, but acknowledged that others caused unspecified damage.

Israel said it also targeted a compound of Syria’s 4th Division, and Syrian Army radar and artillery sites. The IDF said it “views the Syrian state as responsible for everything happening in its territory and will not enable attempts to violate Israel’s sovereignty,” according to the Times of Israel.

Of six rockets fired, two fell short and landed in Syrian territory, one landed in nearby Jordan three landed in Israel, according to the IDF. There were no reports of damage or casualties.

While it’s not clear what kind of rockets were used, the poor performance suggests they were crude Qassam rockets — often derisively likened to bottle rockets — that are the principal weapon used by Palestinian militias in cross-border strikes.

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