Israel launches airstrikes on Iranian forces in Syria

It has carried out hundreds of air strikes there against what it says are Iranian military targets and advanced arms deliveries to Lebanon's Hezbollah.

But the incident happened after Syrian media and the Russia's Ministry of Defence said they had "prevented" an Israeli airstrike near Damascus Airport.

Air defense systems "prevented Israeli air strikes from achieving their objectives in the south" of Syria, the report said without giving further details. "We will continue to act against the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria, including at present, and we will act against any element that undermines, or attempts to undermine, the security of Israel", Netanyahu said.

A rocket that was intercepted over the Golan Heights on Sunday was a surface-to-surface missile deliberately fired from Syria at Israel, according to Hebrew media.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that Israel conducted airstrikes on Iranian weapons near Damascus airport on January 13 and Russian Federation warned Israel against further strikes near the airport. "There are some people killed and injured but we could not verify the toll immediately", the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP. Mahan Air has been identified by defense officials as one of the cargo carriers suspected of ferrying war materiel from Iran to Syria.

According to a Sputnik correspondent, another series of powerful explosions occurred over the Syrian capital at 1:15 local time on Monday.

Nevertheless, daytime strikes by Israel against targets in the war-torn country are extremely rare with the IAF operating during the night.

"This policy doesn't change, whether I am in Israel or on a historic visit in Chad".

  • Jon Douglas