Monday, October 21, 2019 | ePaper

Israeli jets hit targets in Syria to prevent Iranian drone attack: Army

  • Print


An Israeli air force jet over the OVda air force base near Eilat, Israel.

AFP, Jerusalem :
The Israeli air force struck in Syria to prevent an Iranian force from launching an attack on the Jewish state with drones armed with explosives, the army said Sunday.
While Israel operates regularly in Syria, it rarely acknowledges its actions so swiftly, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning arch-foe Iran it had no immunity from his state's military.
In a briefing to reporters, military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said that late Saturday the Israeli air force "was able to thwart an Iranian attempt led by the Quds force from Syria to conduct an attack on Israeli targets in northern Israel using killer drones."
According to Conricus, the Israeli attack took place in Aqraba, southeast of Damascus, and targeted "a number of terror targets and military facilities belonging to the Quds force as well as Shiite militias."
The army had on Thursday prevented an earlier attempt to launch the drone attack, Conricus said, without providing further details. "The threat was significant and these killer drones were capable of striking targets with significant capacity," he said.
A Syrian military source quoted by official Sana news agency said that "At 2330 (2030 GMT) anti-aircraft defences detected enemy targets from Golan heading towards the area around Damascus".
"The aggression was immediately confronted and so far the majority of the enemy Israeli missiles have been destroyed before reaching their targets," the source added.
An AFP correspondent in Damascus heard several large explosions before
Sana announced the defensive action.
"The aggression is still going on and the air defence is able to counter the targets, dropping most of them" in the south of the country, the Sana agency said early Sunday.
Since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011, Israel has conducted hundreds of strikes in Syria, most of them against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese Shiite group that supports Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, who is also backed by Tehran.
Israel says it is determined to prevent its arch-foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs Assad's regime.
In a statement issued just minutes after the Israeli army announced its attack, Netanyahu hailed the military's "major operational effort" in thwarting the attack planned by "the Iranian Quds force and Shiite militias."
"Iran has no immunity anywhere," Netanyahu said. "Our forces operate in every sector against the Iranian aggression."
Military spokesman Conricus said Israel held both Iran and the Syrian regime responsible for the planned drone attack, noting that forces in northern Israel were on "elevated readiness to respond to any development".

More News For this Category

Turkey, US agree on Syria ceasefire to force Kurdish fighters' withdrawal

Turkey, US agree on Syria ceasefire to force Kurdish fighters' withdrawal

AFP, Ankara :Turkey has agreed to suspend its Syria offensive for five days and will end the assault if Kurdish-led forces withdraw from a safe zone along the border, US

Metro stations burned, buses set on fire in Chiles's worst riots in years

Metro stations burned, buses set on fire in Chiles's worst riots in years

AFP, Santiago :Chileans angry over social and economic issues clashed with security forces for a second day Saturday despite a state of emergency declared to quell the worst violence in

Longest non-stop passenger flight arrives in Sydney

Longest non-stop passenger flight arrives in Sydney

The longest non-stop passenger flight touched down in Australia Sunday morning after more than 19 hours in the air, a milestone journey from New York that Qantas hopes to parlay

Indonesia's President kicks off fresh term after wave of crises

Indonesia's President kicks off fresh term after wave of crises

AFP, Jakarta :Indonesia's President Joko Widodo will kick off a fresh term Sunday, facing a wave of crises and with Jakarta under heavy security days after Islamist militants tried to

Hong Kong protesters defy police after activists attacked

Hong Kong protesters defy police after activists attacked

AFP, Hong Kong  :Large crowds of Hong Kongers defied a police ban and held an illegal march on Sunday, their numbers swollen by anger over the recent stabbing and beating

News In Brief

Niger floods force 23,000 from their homesAFP, NiameyFloods in southeast Niger have forced 23,000 people to flee their homes since early October, officials said Saturday, threatening a new humanitarian crisis

Some worries about nuclear weapons at Turkey base

Some worries about nuclear weapons at Turkey base

AP, Washington  :Frayed U.S. relations with Turkey over its incursion in Syria raise a sensitive question rarely discussed in public: Should the United States remove the nuclear bombs it has

Violence escalates in Barcelona after 500,000 separatists rally

Violence escalates in Barcelona after 500,000 separatists rally

AFP, Barcelona :Violent clashes escalated in Barcelona late Friday, as radical Catalan separatists hurled rocks and fireworks at police, who responded with teargas and rubber bullets, turning the city centre

Last Soviet leader Gorbachev urges Russia, US to hold nuclear talks

Last Soviet leader Gorbachev urges Russia, US to hold nuclear talks

Reuters, Moscow :Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, warned on Friday that the world was drifting into a dangerous era of militarised politics and appealed to Moscow and Washington to

Chile President declares state of emergency after violent protests

Chile President declares state of emergency after violent protests

AFP, Santiago :Chile's president declared a state of emergency in Santiago Friday night and gave the military responsibility for security after a day of violent protests over increases in the