Israeli warplanes on Tuesday night struck several Syrian artillery batteries in ostensible retaliation for rockets fired earlier from Syrian territory into northern Israel, the Israeli military has said.
In a statement, the army said Israeli warplanes had targeted artillery batteries deployed by the Assad regime in the Syrian Golan Heights after three projectiles were fired into northern Israel from Syrian territory earlier Tuesday.
Israel, the army stressed in the statement, would hold Syria’s Assad regime responsible for any ordnance fired — by any party — into its territory.
“We will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israel’s sovereignty or the security of its citizens,” the statement read.
The Syrian regime’s official SANA news agency has since confirmed Tuesday night’s airstrikes.
“Israeli enemy warplanes late Tuesday… targeted Syrian army artillery position on the eastern foothills of Mount Hermon,” SANA reported Wednesday, citing the General Command of the Syrian Armed Forces.
The airstrikes, SANA added, “come within [the context of] Israel’s policy of supporting terrorist organizations in Syria”.
The news agency went on to quote a “military source” as saying the strikes had destroyed one Syrian artillery battery and had damaged another.
Since the signing of a 1974 disengagement agreement between Syria and Israel, a cease-fire line has separated the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from a Syria-administered buffer zone.
The agreement also calls on both Syria and Israel to refrain from conducting any military action in the area in line with UN Security Council Resolution 339 of 1973.
Israel occupied the Golan Heights during the 1967 Middle East war. In 1981, in a move never recognized by the international community, the Jewish state annexed most of the territory.