Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged a firm response to any threat to Israel after hitting Syrian military targets in retaliation for an attempted attack in the occupied Golan Heights.
“We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary to defend ourselves, ”he said on Tuesday during a visit to a military installation in central Israel.
“These are not empty words; they have the weight of the State of Israel and the (military) behind them and this must be taken seriously, ”added the veteran prime minister.
Israel launched airstrikes on military targets in southern Syria on Monday evening. The military said it was retaliating after an attempt to plant explosives in the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967.
The official Syrian news agency Sana said that Israeli helicopters attacked Syrian army positions near Quneitra in the south, but caused only material damage. He also said the air defenses came into action near the Syrian capital.
Several Israeli media reported that Monday’s actions responded to an increased threat from the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which has a significant presence in Syria.
In response to an ISIS attack attempt near the security fence between Syria and Israel last night, we just hit SAF targets in Syria, including:
🎯 observation posts
🎯 Intel collection systems
🎯 anti-aircraft artillery
🎯 command and control systems
We hold Syria responsible.
– Israeli Defense Forces (@IDF) August 3, 2020
Tensions have escalated in recent weeks along the Israeli-Syrian border after a fighter belonging to the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah was killed in an apparent Israeli airstrike on the outskirts of Damascus two years ago. weeks.
Israel has since increased the number of its forces on its northern border, on the border of Lebanon and Syria.
Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has vowed revenge, although Israeli commentators have said he appears keen to avoid a major escalation as Lebanon grapples with its internal problems.
Last week, Israel also said it thwarted an attempted infiltration of Lebanon by Hezbollah fighters, triggering one of the most violent exchanges of fire along the volatile Israel-Lebanon border in a decade. 2006 war between bitter enemies.
Since 2011, Israel has launched hundreds of attacks in Syria, targeting government troops and Iranian and Hezbollah allied forces and promising to end Iran’s military presence in Syria.