Syria accuses Israel of firing missiles at a border town in its south

State media says some incoming projectiles intercepted; no reports of injuries and no comment from IDF; reported strike comes days after rockets fired at Israel

Illustrative: This frame grab from a video provided by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows missiles flying into the sky near Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, December 25, 2018. (SANA via AP)
Illustrative: This frame grab from a video provided by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows missiles flying into the sky near Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, December 25, 2018. (SANA via AP)

Syrian state media reported early Wednesday that Israel fired several missiles toward the town of al-Harra just across the Golan Heights border and claimed air defenses intercepted several of the projectiles.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, and no Israeli comment on the claims.

Syria’s official SANA news outlet also reported Israel had jammed Syrian air defense radars in the area in an act of electronic warfare.

Earlier in the evening, Lebanese media reported that Israel conducted reconnaissance flights around the Syrian-Lebanese border.

According to Syrian and Lebanese reports, the target of the strikes was infrastructure set up by the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group and its allies in the area of Tel al-Harra in recent months, following Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s conquering of the area last summer.

Shortly after Assad’s return to the Syrian Golan Heights, in July 2018, Hezbollah identified Tel al-Harra, the highest point in southern Syria, as being of “great strategic importance” because of the visibility it offers of the surrounding area.

In April, the Lebanese al-Modon news outlet reported that the terror group had been in talks with the Syrian military about establishing observation posts on Tel al-Harra.

While Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria in recent years, they have usually targeted bases linked with Iran. In the rare occasions that Israel has targeted villages and towns along the Golan Heights border, it has been after identifying Iranian and Hezbollah attempts to establish cells and infrastructure in the area.

Earlier this month, two rockets were fired from Syria toward Israel’s Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

An Israeli military position, right, is seen on the top of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, where the borders between Israel, Syria and Lebanon meet. April 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

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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