Israel and Syria exchange fire amid soaring regional tensions

2019-05-28 18:06
PHOTO: Getty Images

PHOTO: Getty Images

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Israel has carried out a rocket attack in Syria's Golan Heights region, according to Syrian state news and the Israeli military.

"An Israeli missile targeted Tel al-Shaar in Quneitra," the Syrian news agency SANA said, adding that a "military vehicle was targeted and there are wounded."

Israel's military confirmed the attack in a statement posted on social media on Monday, saying it had been in retaliation for anti-aircraft fire at an Israeli fighter jet earlier on Monday. 

It said that the projectile missed a jet during a routine flight in Israel and that the plane completed its journey before the Israeli military "targeted the launcher that had fired" at the jet. 

Israel's statement came after the Syrian state-owned television channel Al-Ekhbariya said one soldier had been killed and another injured in the attack in Quneitra province, which is adjacent to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

"Our policy is clear - we are not prepared to tolerate any aggression against us, we will retaliate against it forcefully and decisively," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement on Monday. 

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Earlier this month, Syrian media reported two incidents in which Israeli air attacks hit inside southern Syria.

Last year, anti-aircraft fire brought down an Israeli jet returning from carrying out raids in Syria, prompting a wave of Israeli attacks against other targets there. 

Israel does not usually comment on reports concerning its raids in neighbouring Syria, though it has recently acknowledged hitting what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets there.

Hezbollah is a Lebanese armed and political group that, along with Iran, supports Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

The Israeli air attack comes amid soaring tensions in the region between Israel's arch foe Iran and the United States.

The standoff has been simmering since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark 2015 nuclear treaty between Iran and several major world powers. 

In recent days, the US has accused Iran of alleged threats and last week deployed an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the nearby Gulf.

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Read more on:    syria  |  israel  |  middle east conflict
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