ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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IDF says jets struck Syrian Army positions in response to rocket attack

3 projectiles hit open areas Tuesday in Golan Heights; army also retaliates to attacks from Lebanon; Gallant: Home front readying for war with Hezbollah, ‘patience will run out’

An old tank in the snow in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 31, 2024. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)
An old tank in the snow in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 31, 2024. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday that fighter jets carried out strikes overnight against Syrian Army positions in the Daraa area in southern Syria, in response to a rocket attack on the Golan Heights the previous evening.

No injuries were caused when three rockets fired from Syria hit open areas in the southern Golan Heights.

The IDF also said Tuesday that it was responding with shelling against the source of the rocket fire.

Amid the war in the Gaza Strip, there have been several rocket attacks launched from Syria at northern Israel, without any injuries caused.

Syrian state media said Monday that “a number of Iranian advisers” were killed in an alleged Israeli attack south of the capital, in a rare acknowledgment by Damascus of Iranian casualties in strikes on Syrian territory attributed to Israel. The report also said civilians were killed but did not give a figure for either set of fatalities.

An Israeli military spokesperson declined to comment on the explosions. The IDF rarely comments on alleged strikes in Syria. The strike was the third in two months blamed on Israel and targeting Iranian infrastructure and officers in Damascus.

Recent weeks have also seen several alleged sorties carried out against sites in Syria as part of Israel’s ongoing efforts to prevent Iran from supplying arms to its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has stepped up attacks on northern Israel over the past several months amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

The IDF also said Wednesday that several projectiles had been fired that morning from Lebanon toward the Manara and Kfar Yuval areas, landing in open areas and causing no injuries.

The military said it carried out artillery shelling against areas in southern Lebanon, apparently to foil planned Hezbollah attacks.

On Tuesday, the IDF said fighter jets carried out strikes on a Hezbollah command center and an observation post belonging to the terror group in the southern Lebanon village of Khiam.

Fighter jets hit another observation post and building used by Hezbollah in Ayta ash-Shab and Mhaibib.

Israeli reserve soldiers take part in a military drill in the Golan Heights, January 24, 2024. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

Since October 8, a day after the Hamas mass onslaught in Israel that sparked the still raging war in Gaza, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the Israel-Lebanon border on a near-daily basis, with the Lebanese terror group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war there.

So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in six civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of nine IDF soldiers and reservists.

Hezbollah has named 174 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 20 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 19 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.

Top Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to go to war in Lebanon after the campaign to root out Hamas in Gaza is over, with the aim of driving Hezbollah away from the border in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

On Tuesday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said “the stage will come when our patience will run out, and a forceful action to enforce peace on the northern border will also affect the Haifa metropolis.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (center) speaks during an assessment at the Kiryat Ata municipality, January 30, 2024. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

“We are ready, but we continue to prepare, gaining more and more capabilities because not all things are solved, but things are done well. And we have to take into account the possibility of a wide escalation; this is something that can happen,” Gallant said during an assessment regarding the home front hosted in Kiryat Ata, in the greater Haifa area.

He warned that the possibility of a potential agreement with Hezbollah was “exhausting itself” and added that if the situation deteriorates further, “the situation in Haifa will not be good, but in Beirut, the situation will be devastating.”

The Iran-backed terror group Hamas launched a massive onslaught on October 7, killing approximately 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapping 253, mostly civilians, amid horrendous acts of brutality and sexual assault.

In response, Israel vowed to eliminate Hamas, launching a wide-scale military campaign in Gaza aimed at destroying the group’s military and governance capabilities.

Iran, which supports Hamas both financially and militarily, has hailed the devastating October 7 attacks as a “success” but denied any direct involvement.

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