Syrian state media: Israel launches missile at Quneitra, causing damage
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Syrian state media: Israel launches missile at Quneitra, causing damage

No injuries reported in purported IDF raid, said to come after movement of Hezbollah members in area; alleged strike day after report Israel expanded operations to Iraq

Illustrative: A picture taken on July 26, 2018, near Kibbutz Ein Zivan in the Israeli Golan Heights, shows smoke rising across the border in Syria following air strikes during a Syrian-government-led offensive in the southern province of Quneitra. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)
Illustrative: A picture taken on July 26, 2018, near Kibbutz Ein Zivan in the Israeli Golan Heights, shows smoke rising across the border in Syria following air strikes during a Syrian-government-led offensive in the southern province of Quneitra. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Official Syrian media on Thursday said Israel fired a missile at the Quneitra region in a rare daytime raid, causing damage but no injuries.

There was no comment from the Israel Defense Forces on the purported raid on the Syrian Golan Heights, which was reported by the SANA Syrian state news agency.

The Al Arabiya network said the alleged Israeli missile strike in Syria followed movement by members of the Hezbollah terror group in the area.

The Al Arabiya network said the alleged Israeli strike followed Hezbollah movement in the area.

Hebrew-language reports said residents of the Golan Heights heard explosions.

Israel commonly conducts strikes in Syrian territory, targeting Iranian missile shipments meant for Lebanese terror group Hezbollah to use against the Jewish state.

According to a report on Tuesday, Israel has expanded its operations against Iranian targets to Iraq, where Air Force jets struck twice in ten days. Asharq Al-Awsat, an Arabic-language newspaper published in London, cited Western diplomatic sources as saying an Israeli F-35 plane was behind a July 19 strike on a rocket depot in a Shiite militia base north of Baghdad.

The IDF has not commented on the report.

The Saudi-based al-Arabiya network reported at the time that members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and Hezbollah had been killed in the strike. It said the base had shortly before the strike received Iranian ballistic missiles, which had been hidden inside trucks. Iraq’s military said at the time that one fighter was killed and two Iranians wounded, saying the strike was carried out by an unmanned drone. The United States denied involvement.

In this photo from July 1, 2016, members of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq paramilitary group take part in a Quds Day march in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

Asharq Al-Awsat also said that Israel was behind another strike in Iraq carried out Sunday at Camp Ashraf, the former headquarters of the exiled People’s Mujahedin of Iran, located 40 kilometers northeast of Baghdad and 80 kilometers from the Iranian border.

That strike targeted Iranian advisers and a ballistic missile shipment, the report cited sources as saying.

The report also mentioned a strike in Syria last week blamed on Israel, in which nine were killed including six Iranians fighting for the Syrian regime, claiming it was meant to prevent Iran from taking over a strategic hill in the Daraa province in the country’s south.

Israeli missiles targeted “military positions and intelligence facilities belonging to Iran and [pro-Iranian] militias” in the southern provinces of Daraa and Quneitra early on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at the time. The other three killed in the strike were pro-regime Syrian fighters, it added.

Illustrative: Explosions seen near Damascus on July 1, 2019, during a purported Israeli airstrike. (Screen capture/Twitter)

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces in the country, as well as those loyal to the Assad regime, as part of a stated policy to prevent arms transfers to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the entrenchment of Iranian military forces across from Israel’s northern border.

Israel does not usually comment on specific reports of strikes, but does insist it has the right to defend itself by targeting positions held by Iran and Hezbollah.

Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi boasted last week that Israel is the only country in the world that has been “killing Iranians.”

In a speech to the UN General Assembly last September, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that “Israel will do whatever it must do to defend itself against Iran’s aggression. We will continue to act against you in Syria. We will act against you in Lebanon. We will act against you in Iraq. We will act against you whenever and wherever we must act to defend our state and defend our people.” An excerpt from that speech was utilized in a recent Likud election campaign clip.

Times of Israel staff and agencies contributed to this report.

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