Israeli jets bomb Syria after attempted attack in Golan Heights, military says
Israeli aircraft attacked targets in southern Syria late on Monday, the military said, describing the strikes as retaliation for an attempted bombing in the occupied Golan Heights by an enemy squad.
The strikes hit Syrian observation posts, intelligence collection systems, anti-aircraft batteries and command-and-control bases, an Israeli military statement said.
Syrian state media reported its air defence systems were responding to “hostile targets” southwest of Damascus.
It also said Israeli helicopters had fired at Syrian checkpoints in al-Quneitra, on the Golan Heights, causing "material damage only".
There was no immediate word of any casualties, Reuters reported.
The Israeli military said it was responding to an attempt by a group of four people to plant explosives on a patrolled fence along the Golan armistice line between Israel and Syria.
In that incident, reported by Israel early on Monday, the military fired on the squad.
Surveillance video showed the group engulfed in an explosion.
Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus referred to them as "former terrorists," suggesting they had been killed.
Conricus said it was too soon to say if the squad belonged to any organisation, but that Israel held "the Syrian regime accountable".
There was no comment from Syria on the incident.
Tensions had risen in the area in recent weeks after a Hezbollah fighter had been killed in an apparent Israeli strike on the edge of Damascus.
Hezbollah had vowed revenge for the killing and Israel had been boosting its forces on its northern front, where it borders Lebanon and Syria.
Last week, Israeli officials said the army thwarted an attempted breach of the border with Lebanon by Hezbollah fighters, a claim the group disputed.
The overnight encounter occurred at the same spot where until two years ago, Israel had operated a field hospital to treat Syrians who had been wounded in the Syrian civil war, Conricus told reporters.
Israel had noticed "irregular activity" in that area for about a week and had a commando team waiting there in ambush, Conricus said.