There was another dangerous exchange of fire between Syria and Israel near the Golan Heights in the overnight hours, related to ongoing airstrikes on Gaza. Late Tuesday and into the overnight hours there were widespread reports that at least two rockets were fired from southern Syria, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) saying the pair of projectiles landed in open fields.
Israel then responded with a major attack on what it said were Syrian missile batteries in retaliation, which reportedly killed at least eight Syrian troops, according to international reports and state media, the latter which detailed, “Around 1:45am [22:45 GMT Tuesday], the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression from the occupied Golan Heights.”
Regional media sources said the IDF response attack destroyed arms depots and a Syrian air defense radar, and the base that was struck included an infantry unit.
A prominent Syrian opposition monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory, said it wasn’t the Syrian Army that the salvo in the first place, however. It identified that “fighters loyal to Hezbollah” were responsible, having “launched rockets towards the occupied Syrian Golan.”
On Wednesday, the IDF issued rare confirmation of its strikes on southern Syria, saying “fighter jets struck military infrastructure and mortars belonging to the Syrian army in response to the launches towards Israel yesterday [Tuesday].”
According to sources cited in AFP, Syrian army and Palestinian factions have been issued fresh warnings this week by the IDF near the Golan. Leaflets were reportedly dropped in the region, which read: “Syrian commanders … bear full responsibility for operations … incoming from Syrian territory”… every attack “on the state of Israel will be met with an iron fist.”
Syrian Army and Hezbollah forces work in close coordination, and it’s not uncommon for Israel to attack Syrian government installations for something Hezbollah or an “Iran-linked” paramilitary group did.
🚨UPDATE: Headquarters for the 5th Armoured Division of the Syrian Army, a Radar Battalion and Weapons Depots of the Syrian Air Defense Force were targeted by the IDF airstrikes.
The Headquarters for the 5th Armored Division has been destroyed.
— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) October 24, 2023
This month, Israel has already attacked Damascus and Aleppo international airports some two or three times. In Damascus, an airport worker died in the latest instance the runway was taken out. A new Wednesday report in SANA indicates Aleppo airport has been struck yet again:
“Nearly at 1:25 p.m. on Wednesday, the Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression from the Mediterranean Sea, west of Lattakia, targeting Aleppo International Airport, causing material damage to the airport’s runway and it’s now out of service.” A military source stated in a statement to SANA.
Israel is on a heightened state of alert not only along the Golan Heights which it occupies, but along its northern border with Lebanon as well, where dozens and towns and villages have already been evacuated as a fight gears up with Hezbollah.