Israel launches strikes on multiple sites in Syria

Three rockets entered Israel among which two landed on open ground and third one was intercepted

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This photo shows a view of Israeli self-propelled artillery howitzers stationed at an Israeli army base in Zawra in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights. — AFP/File
This photo shows a view of Israeli self-propelled artillery howitzers stationed at an Israeli army base in Zawra in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights. — AFP/File

Israel said on Sunday that it has launched retaliatory attacks on Syria targeting military compounds in response to the rockets fired on its northern territory from Golan Heights, BBC reported Sunday.

There were no casualties reported.

The tensions have reached their peak as Israeli forces raided the compound in Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy month of Ramadan where worshippers were praying. Hundreds of Palestinians have barricaded themselves in the mosque.

Videos show police firing stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian worshippers gathered for Ramadan prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Three rockets had entered Israel among which two landed on the open ground and the third one was intercepted.

Syrian Defence Ministry confirmed the attacks with the claim that "air defences had responded to the strikes and successfully intercepted some of the missiles, adding that no casualties had been reported, with only material damage caused by the strikes.

On the other hand, Syrian state media reported explosions near the capital Damascus.

Lebanese media outlet Al Mayadeen TV said that the Al-Quds Brigade an — Iranian-backed group — had claimed to be behind the attacks.

On Sunday, Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in a statement noted that " it sees the state of Syria responsible for all activities occurring within its territory and will not allow any attempts to violate Israeli sovereignty".

Jordan — which borders Syria and Israel — said that a rocket exploded in the air on Saturday evening and its debris fell on Jordanian territory without resulting in any casualties. It was not said where the rocket came from.

Golan Heights was annexed by Israel in 1986. It was also seized earlier from Syria in 1967 as a result of the Six-Day War.

The Israeli attacks come just a day after it hit several military targets of Hamas on Friday in Lebanon. Israel maintained that the attacks were carried out in response to 34 rockets that were fired into its territory on Thursday

Jordan on Saturday issued a warning to Israel of "catastrophic consequences" if its forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque again.

Gideon Levy, an Israeli journalist told Al Jazeera "The situation is extremely explosive."

He added while referring to the ultra-nationalist government of Benjamin Netanyahu: "Unlike the former years, we are facing a very radical government, which is one hand quite powerful, and on the other very fragile, because the most radical parts of it are pushing for action that might turn out into a catastrophe."

"The scenes from the Al-Aqsa Mosque were scenes not seen in recent years in their brutality and I think that any small match can set fire now to the whole area. Hopefully, it will not happen, but nobody can guarantee this will not happen," he maintained.

Levy highlighted that Israel has been carrying out hundreds of attacks against what it says are Iran-linked groups in Syria, bombing ports and airports, including the main facility in Aleppo that had been a conduit for aid shipments since the deadly earthquakes that hit northern Syria and southern Turkey on February 6.

"There is no public argument about this [raids in Syria] in Israel and no information about it in Israel. Nobody knows why and what form and what is the price," he noted.

"One thing is clear. Israel is violating Syrian sovereignty and Israel is playing with fire with Iran. How long will the Syrians and the Iranians tolerate this?"