Army attacks four targets, including a training camp, an artillery battery and Syrian army headquarters.
The Israeli Air Force attacked four Syrian army targets in southern Syria overnight Tuesday in retaliation for the attack against IDF soldiers on the Golan Heights border, that left four soldiers wounded – one of them in critical condition.
The strike targeted a training camp, an artillery battery and Syrian army headquarters in the Syrian Golan.
On Tuesday afternoon, an explosive device detonated near an IDF patrol jeep traveling along Israel’s border fence with Syria in the area south of the Druze village of Majdal Shams. Four IDF soldiers were wounded in the blast, one was in serious condition, the others were in light to moderate condition.
Al-Arabiya reported Tuesday that the aim of the attack was to kidnap an Israeli soldier. The device used Tuesday contained thousands of fragments and cells, and in order to rule out a kidnapping attempt, IDF cannons immediately fired heavily to mask the area.
The IDF said that Syrian security forces were the ones who enabled and aided the Tuesday attack, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said he holds President Bashar Assad’s regime responsible of the attack.
Al Arabiya reported that Israeli fighter jets attacked the headquarters of the 90th and 68th Divisions of the Syrian army in Quneitra. Syrian opposition sources reported that another military facility near the A’Salam freeway that connects between Damascus and Quneitra. A witness said that at least three explosions were heard in the area.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The airstrike that happened mere hours after the attack on the Golan border Tuesday, is the first time since the beginning of the Syrian civil war three years ago that Israel admits to an airstrike against Syria. Until now, Israel has only claimed responsibility for cross-border artillery fire.
Shortly after Tuesday’s attack, IDF tanks fired at Syrian outposts near the border, and Tammuz ultra-long-range missiles hit further outposts.
“The IDF reserves the right to operate in whatever way and time it sees fit in order to protect the citizens of Israel,” a statement on behalf of the army read Tuesday.
“Whoever dares strike us – is blood be on his own head,” Ya’alon said. “We hold the Assad regime responsible for what happens in its territory and if it continues to collaborate with terrorists striving to hurt Israel then we will keep on exacting a heavy price from it and make it regret its actions.”
Following the incident, the Northern Command is expected to intensify its operation procedures along the Syrian border. Army officials estimate that another attempt to harm IDF forces in the vicinity of the border will be carried out and the level of alert in the region will remain high due to fear of escalation.
Army officers estimate that those who placed the explosive device chose the area of operation very carefully, while taking advantage of the fact that it is difficult to observe the region due to its mountainous terrain.