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IDF strikes Syria in response to drone attack in Eilat

The Israeli military did not specify which organization was targeted.

Damage at the Tze’elim Elementary School in Eilat following a drone explosion, Nov. 9, 2023. Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson's Unit.
Damage at the Tze’elim Elementary School in Eilat following a drone explosion, Nov. 9, 2023. Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson's Unit.

The Israel Defense Forces struck assets in Syria overnight on Thursday that belong to the group responsible for launching a drone at a school in Eilat the previous day.

The military did not specify which organization was behind the UAV attack on Israel’s southernmost city or what targets were hit in Syria.

“The Syrian regime is fully responsible for all terror activity that is carried out from Syrian territory. The IDF will respond severely to any attempt to attack the territory of the State of Israel,” according to a military statement.

The drone caused a large explosion at an elementary school in Eilat on Thursday afternoon, injuring one civilian.

“A UAV hit a civilian building in the city of Eilat in southern Israel. The identity of the UAV and the details of the incident are under review,” said the IDF.

A 20-year-old man suffered from smoke inhalation and was evacuated to the city’s Yoseftal Medical Center, the Magen David Adom emergency response service said. In addition, paramedics treated five people suffering from anxiety.

Those present at the school at the time of the explosion were special-education students who were in the bomb shelter, said Education Minister Yoav Kisch.

On Wednesday night, separate Israeli and U.S. airstrikes in Syria targeted Iranian proxies.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Israel had struck Hezbollah facilities near Damascus, as well as a Syrian air defense site. Israeli officials did not confirm the attacks.

A Pentagon official told reporters that U.S. aircraft struck a weapons warehouse belonging to the IRGC in eastern Syria. The official said the strike triggered secondary explosions, suggesting the presence of weapons.

The attack marked the second time since Oct. 27 that the United States has struck assets belonging to Iran and its proxy forces. The strikes were prompted by rocket and drone attacks on American forces stationed in Syria and Iraq. According to the Pentagon, 45 U.S. personnel have been injured in those attacks.

Last week, Israeli warplanes struck several sites in southern Syria in response to earlier rocket fire on the Golan Heights.

The IDF said it struck the launchers responsible for the cross-border fire.

All of the projectiles launched from Syria landed in open areas, causing no injuries or damage.

Israeli airstrikes have repeatedly put Damascus and Aleppo airports out of service.

Israel has struck hundreds of targets in Syria in recent years as part of an effort to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in the country. However, Jerusalem rarely acknowledges these incidents.

Iran has in recent weeks boosted the presence of Shi’ite terror forces in Syria and also in Lebanon as backup for Hezbollah.

IDF spokespeople have consistently stated that Israel is closely monitoring developments to its north, northeast and east amid the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

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