Israel launches air strikes in Syria, Damascus says two killed

Light in the sky, believed to be a missile, is seen the city in Damascus, Syria November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Firas Makdesi

Israel said its aircraft struck dozens of Iranian and Syrian military targets in Syria on Wednesday in retaliation for rockets fired towards Israel a day earlier.

Syrian state media reported two civilians were killed in the attacks, but said Syria’s air defences destroyed most of the missiles fired by Israeli jets over the capital Damascus before they reached their targets.

Israel’s military said its missile defence system shot down four rockets fired from Syria towards Israel on Tuesday.

“I have made clear that whoever hurts us, we will hurt him,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said early on Wednesday.

“This is what we did overnight vis-a-vis military targets of the Iranian Al Quds force and Syrian military targets in Syria after a barrage of rockets was launched at Israel,” he said.

The elite Quds Force is the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

On Twitter, Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Avichay Adraee said warplanes attacked dozens of targets, including surface-to-air missiles, headquarters, weapons depots and military bases.

Syria’s state news agency SANA said several people were also wounded in the Israeli air raids over Damascus.

Israel says it has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria against Iranian targets trying to establish a permanent military presence there and against advanced weapons shipments to Tehran-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah.

“Yesterday’s Iranian attack on Israeli territory by firing missiles … is the best proof of Iran’s real cause in Syria. The Iranian position poses a threat to Israel’s security, stability in the region, and the Syrian regime,” Adraee said.