Middle East

Israel and Syria claim to have shot down each other’s missiles in apparent tit-for-tat attacks

  • Tel Aviv said its Iron Dome defence system intercepted a rocket fired from Syria, hours after Damascus thwarted ‘Israeli air aggression’
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 January, 2019, 9:14pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 January, 2019, 9:20pm

Israel’s military said its air defence systems intercepted a rocket fired from Syria on Sunday, after Damascus accused Israel of air raids in the country’s south.

“A short while ago, a rocket was fired at the northern Golan Heights and was intercepted by the ‘Iron Dome’ aerial defence system,” a military statement said.

A military spokeswoman confirmed the rocket was fired from Syria.

Earlier on Sunday, Syria said it thwarted an Israeli attack, shooting down several missiles in the south of the country, state media said.

“Our air defence systems thwarted … an Israeli air aggression … and prevented it from achieving any of its goals,” a military source told state news agency SANA. It gave no further details.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged an Israeli attack last week on what he called an Iranian arms cache in Syria, where Tehran is said to provide Damascus with vital support.

Flashpoint in Golan Heights as Israel accuses Iranian forces of launching rocket attack from Syrian soil

He told his cabinet Israel had carried out “hundreds” of attacks during the conflict in Syria to curtail Iran and its ally, Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Usually silent about its attacks on Iranian targets near its frontier, Israel has lifted the veil this month, a sign of confidence in a campaign waged amid occasional tensions with Syria’s big-power backer Russia.

Additional reporting by Reuters