Israel retaliates after Syrian missile attack

Ruben Hill
April 22, 2021

In response to the launch of the surface-to-air missile, the Israeli military conducted a second round of airstrikes in Syria, targeting Syrian air defenses, including the battery that fired the SA-5 that struck southern Israel.

The missile was reportedly aimed at Israeli military aircraft but missed its target.

The Israel Defense Forces launched an investigation to determine why its air defenses failed to intercept an errant surface-to-air missile fired from Syria that landed in southern Israel on Thursday morning.

Earlier, the Syrian state-run SANA media outlet reported that Syrian air defence systems repelled an Israeli rocket attack near the capital of Damascus.

In late February, Israeli air strikes targeted the area of Sayyida Zeinab south of Damascus, where Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Lebanese Hezbollah are present, the Observatory said, without reporting any casualties.

The agency did not elaborate other than to claim its air defence intercepted "most of the enemy missiles", which it said were fired from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights. The army later said the incoming missile had caused no damage.

A Reuters news agency reporter about 90 km away from Abu Qrenat heard the sound of an explosion early on Thursday minutes before the military's text message.

Rising hostilities between Iran and Israel have also played out at sea, in a series of tit-for-tat attacks on tankers and other vessels.

IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman stressed that the military did not believe the overnight incident was a deliberate attack on the country or its nuclear facility.

Israel has not openly commented on the incidents, but it has signalled possible involvement.

It also threatened to complicate US-led attempts to revive the worldwide nuclear deal with Iran. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

But on Saturday, Iran's Kayhan newspaper published an opinion piece by Iranian analyst Sadollah Zarei suggesting Israel's Dimona facility be targeted after the attack on Natanz.

Action should be taken "against the nuclear facility in Dimona", he wrote.

While Kayhan is a small circulation newspaper, its editor-in-chief, Hossein Shariatmadari, was appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Zarei has been described as an adviser to him in the past and has demanded retaliatory strikes on Israel in the past.

The attack occurred hours before diplomats from Iran, the United States and the European Union gathered in Vienna, for the start of negotiations aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers. Israel, which was widely suspected of carrying out both attacks, has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement.

However, Iran did not retaliate then.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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