Army spots anti-aircraft fire from Syria days after border exchange
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Army spots anti-aircraft fire from Syria days after border exchange

IDF says the projectiles landed inside Syrian territory and didn’t present a threat to Israelis

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights shows snow covered mountain inside Syria on January 20, 2019. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)
A picture taken from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights shows snow covered mountain inside Syria on January 20, 2019. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)

The Israeli military on Thursday said its radar systems detected anti-aircraft fire from Syria, which initially appeared to be rockets heading toward Israel.

The projectiles did not land inside Israel nor did they represent a threat to Israelis, according to an army spokesperson.

“From what I know, [the fire] wasn’t directed toward an Israeli jet,” the spokeswoman said.

Hebrew media outlets reported that the Israeli systems detected four anti-aircraft shells.

The incident came days after two rockets were fired from Syria toward Israel’s Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, the military said.

One of the rockets landed inside Israeli territory and the second failed to clear the border, the army said.

An IDF airstrike hits Syrian military targets, June 1, 2019. (IDF spokesperson’s unit)

In response to the rocket attack Saturday, the IDF struck several military targets in Syria. Israel military helicopters and planes hit several targets connected to the Syrian army, including two artillery batteries, several observation and intelligence outposts, and an SA-2 type air defense unit, the IDF said in a statement.

Syrian media reported that Israel also struck several targets connected to Iran and its proxy militias in Syria, in the area of al-Kiswah, south of Damascus. These strikes reportedly targeted weapons caches and a military training facility.

Last week also saw a limited clash between Israel and Syria.

On May 27, a Syrian anti-aircraft battery fired at an Israeli fighter jet that was flying within Israeli airspace. Shortly afterward, in response, the IDF attacked the battery and destroyed it, reportedly killing a Syrian officer and soldier. A military vehicle was also said damaged in the attack.

Toward the start of the Syrian civil war, the Israeli military established a number of “red lines” that if violated would result in a retaliatory strike, including any attacks — intentional or otherwise — against Israel.

They also included Iranian efforts to establish a permanent military presence in Syria and attempts to transfer advanced munitions to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist group.

In recent years, Israel has acknowledged conducting hundreds of airstrikes in Syria in response to these “red line” violations.

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