A day after four rockets were fired at Israel from Syria, the Israeli military struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria on Wednesday in retaliation, the IDF said.
“The attack was carried out in response to the launching of the rockets by the Iranian Quds force from Syrian territory,” the IDF said in a statement.
Israel blamed Iran for the four rockets launched from Syria at the Golan Heights on Tuesday. The missiles were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, but not before sending Israelis in the north running for bomb shelters int he middle of the night.
Despite having apparently carried out hundreds of airstrikes there against Iranian targets over the last several years, Israel rarely comments on specific attacks in Syria. This one was an exception.
“I have made clear that any who attack us — we will attack them,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “That is what we did tonight towards military targets of the Iranian Quds force and Syrian military targets.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 people were killed, at least 7 of whom were foreign nationals and are believed to be Iranian. In other words, they were terrorists seeking to wreak havoc on Israeli civilians.
Israel maintains that Iranian entrenchment in Syria threatens Israeli security. Iran has a presence in Syria, Israel’s northern neighbor, supports Hezbollah in Lebanon and fund Islamic Jihad in Gaza, essentially targeting Israel from two sides.
“The rules have changed: whoever fires on Israel during the day will not sleep at night,” said Israel’s new defense minister, Naftali Bennett. “Our message to the leaders of Iran is simple: you are no longer immune. Any place you dispatch your tentacles, we will chop them off.”
The rockets fired at the Golan Heights on Tuesday come a week after Palestinians fired hundreds of rockets from Gaza leaving all of southern Israel under siege for two days.