Israeli warplanes said to take out radar installation in southern Syria

Attack involving six fighter jets flying east over Daraa-Suweida area occurred around same time as reported attack on Iran’s Isfahan, monitor says

An Israeli army f-15 fighter jet flies over central Israel on April 15, 2024. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)
An Israeli army f-15 fighter jet flies over central Israel on April 15, 2024. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

Israel allegedly carried out strikes on a Syrian army position in the country’s south early Friday, Syria’s government and a monitor said, as reports indicated that Jerusalem had launched a retaliatory attack against an Iranian site in Isfahan.

In a statement, Syria’s defense ministry said “The Israeli enemy carried out an attack using missiles… targeting our air defense sites in the southern region” and causing material damage.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said Israel targeted an army radar position in the southern province of Daraa that had detected the entry of Israeli planes into Syria’s airspace.

Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Britain-based Observatory, claimed the strikes took place “at a time when the Israeli air force was flying intensively over the Daraa region” without Syrian air defenses taking any action.

He said six Israeli fighter jets entered Syria’s airspace and were flying east when they were spotted by the radar. He said damage was caused, but it was unclear if there were any casualties.

The Israeli military has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria since the outbreak of a civil war in its northern neighbor in 2011, usually targeting Iran-backed fighters or weapons transfers.

Rayan Maarouf, who runs the Suwayda24 anti-government news website, said there had been strikes on a Syrian army radar position in Sweida province, without specifying their origin.

Illustrative: Syrian troops flash the victory sign next to the Syrian flag in Tel al-Haara, the highest hill in the southwestern Daraa province, Syria, July 17, 2018. (SANA via AP)

Sweida neighbors Daraa in Syria’s far south, near its border with Jordan. The area is directly west of Isfahan, some 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) away, and east of Israel.

The strikes occurred as Israel appeared to launch a hotly awaited reprisal against Iran, with Tehran saying its air defenses took out three drones. Israeli and US officials confirmed to foreign news sites that Israel was behind the attack, which was widely described as limited and meant to keep the fighting from escalating.

Israel warned it would hit back after Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles against Israel overnight on April 13 in an unprecedented attack, which was retaliation for a deadly strike on its Damascus consulate.

There was no comment on the alleged Syria strike from Israel, which generally refrains from commenting on individual strikes.

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