Syrian surface-to-air missile hits Israel, IAF strikes back

April 22, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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A surface-to-air missile was fired from Syria to Israel’s southern Negev on Wednesday night, exploding in an open area.

File photo: Two Israeli F-35 “Adir” jets fly in formation. Credit: U.S. Air Force/1st Lt. Erik D. Anthony.

The incident set off sirens in several areas but caused no injuries or damage.

In response, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck the battery from which the missile was launched and additional surface-to-air batteries in Syria.

Syria official SANA news reported that the IAF strike was launched from the Golan Heights area and hit targets in the vicinity of Damascus.

A Syrian military official stated that four Syrians were injured in the attack and damage was caused.

The IDF defined the incident as an unintentional launch, a “leakage of a surface-to-air missile into Israeli territory.”

An Israeli air defence interceptor was launched toward the Syrian projectile. The IDF is still examining whether the interceptor hit the Syrian surface-to-air missile.

It is yet unclear what prompted the Syrian army to launch the SA-5 air defence missile toward Israel. The incident may have been started with IAF activity in the north that prompted the Syrian army to fire at it.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has counted eight IAF strikes in Syria since the beginning of 2021, which resulted in the injury and destruction of 29 targets, including buildings, weapons depots, headquarters, centres, and mechanisms.

These strikes caused the death of 76 people, including 21 members of the regime forces and militants loyal to them, 22 Iraqi militiamen, 14 Afghan militia members, 5 Pakistani militiamen, and 10 pro-Iranian militias of non-Syrian nationalities.

In general, Israel has significantly stepped up its strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria in recent months.

Iran and Hezbollah’s military build-up in Syria remains a red line for Israel. The IAF has carried out thousands of attacks to thwart the Iranian entrenchment in the war-torn country.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly declared that they will not tolerate an Iranian threat on its northern border with Syria and will take all necessary measures to ensure that such a menace does not emerge.

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