(November 20, 2019 / JNS) Israel struck dozens of targets in Syria early on Wednesday in retaliation for the firing of four rockets from Syria at the Golan Heights and Galilee by Iranian forces the day before, according to the Israeli military.
“The attack was carried out in response to the launching of the rockets by the Iranian Quds force from Syrian territory,” the IDF said in a statement on Wednesday. The strikes, which began at around 1:20 a.m., targeted missile launchers, command centers, bases and weapons warehouses, according to the IDF.
The predawn attacks on Tuesday set off warning sirens in northern Israel, sending residents scrambling for shelter. Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepted all four projectiles, and no casualties or damage were reported.
Two people were killed and multiple people wounded by the Israeli strikes, Syrian media reported on Wednesday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights organization reported that at least 11 people were killed, including seven “foreigners.”
Video footage from Syria showed an errant Syrian air defense missile crashing into a heavily populated civilian area after launching, which reports indicate may have been to blame for some of the casualties.
An IDF spokesman said on Wednesday that Israel was preparing for a possible military response to the strikes.
“We are preparing for defense and attack, and we will respond to any attempt to retaliate,” IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told reporters on Wednesday. “We are ready for three scenarios: no response, a minor response and a more significant response,” he added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement following the strikes: “I have made clear that any who attack us—we will attack them. That is what we did tonight towards military targets of the Iranian Quds force and Syrian military targets.”
Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that “our message to the leaders of Iranian is simple: You are not immune anymore. Wherever you send your octopus arms—we will hack them off.”
Last week, the same day that an Israeli airstrike killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata in Gaza, Syrian state media reported that senior PIJ official Akram al-Ajouri had been seriously wounded in a strike on his home in Damascus.
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