- The Israel Defence Forces shared a video that it says shows its Iron Dome air-defence system intercepting a rocket over a ski resort in the occupied Golan Heights.
- The IDF said the rocket was launched by Iranian forces in Syria on Sunday, calling it a “premeditated attack.”
- On Monday, the IDF said it was targeting Iran’s Quds Forces in Syria and confirmed carrying out a series of strikes. A monitoring group said 11 people were killed.
- The IDF accused Iran of “attempting to entrench itself in Syria” and said it would “continue operating as needed to defend Israeli civilians.”
The Israel Defence Forces shared a video Sunday that it said showed its Iron Dome defence system intercepting a rocket over a ski resort.
In the video, people can be seen skiing and snowboarding on a mountain when two objects are seen and heard roaring overhead. The video was said to be taken in the Hermon resort in the Israeli-occupied portion of the Golan Heights. An IDF spokesman told Business Insider the video showed an Israeli missile taking off.
This is what’s been happening:
On Sunday, Iranian Quds Forces operating in Syria launched a surface-to-surface rocket from Syria aimed at Israel’s Golan Heights. The Iron Dome Aerial Defense System intercepted the rocket. pic.twitter.com/P7yvkpR6An
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) January 21, 2019
The IDF said the rocket was fired by Iranian forces in Syria, tweeting on Monday that “Iranian Quds Forces operating in Syria launched a surface-to-surface rocket from Syria” aimed at the Golan Heights. Israel annexed the region in 1981 in a move that was not recognised internationally. The Quds Forces are elite units of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“The Iron Dome Aerial Defence System intercepted the rocket,” the IDF said.
Israel’s Iron Dome, which has been operating since 2011, is a missile-interceptor system designed to detect and shoot down incoming rockets.
The IDF claimed the rocket was launched by Iran in a “premeditated” attack intended to stop Israel from conducting airstrikes against its troops, The Times of Israel reported.
After the rocket launch, the IDF said it started striking Iranian military targets in Syria, where Iran has sent military personnel to support President Bashar Assad in the country’s civil war.
Israel said it hit munition storage sites, a site at Damascus International Airport, an Iranian intelligence site, and an Iranian military training camp.
The UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 11 fighters, including two Syrians, were killed in that attack, according to the BBC.
The Iranian air force chief, Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh, said his country was “fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the earth,” according to the Young Journalist Club, a website supervised by Iranian state TV, as cited by Reuters.
Israel’s announcement was a change from Israel’s usual policy of staying quiet about its military operations in Syria, even as tensions have escalated quickly between forces within the two neighbouring countries.
Syria’s military said Israel conducted intensive airstrikes with successive waves of guided missiles just after 1 a.m. on Monday,the Associated Press reported. But it said Syrian air defences destroyed most of the missiles before they could reach their targets.
On Sunday, before the missile over the Golan Heights, Syrian state media said that the country’s air defences repelled an Israeli air raid near Damascus International Airport, the BBC reported.
The IDF warned Syria not to “harm” any Israelis or any Israeli territory. It said the rocket the IDF intercepted showed that Iran “is attempting to entrench itself in Syria, endangering the State of Israel & regional stability.”
“We hold the Syrian regime responsible for everything taking place within Syria and warn them against targeting Israel or permitting others to target Israel from their soil,” the IDF wrote.
“We are prepared for all scenarios and will continue operating as needed to defend Israeli civilians.”