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Israel strikes 9 military targets in Syria

Published time: June 22, 2014 23:42
Edited time: June 24, 2014 15:06
FILE Photo. An Israeli F16C fighter jet (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

FILE Photo. An Israeli F16C fighter jet (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

Nine Syrian military targets have been hit by Israeli jets and guided missiles, the IDF says, claiming it was a decisive response to a series of cross-border shootings to protect the citizens of Israel.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, “at least 10 members of the Syrian army were killed,” Reuters reported.

The strikes on targets in Golan Heights were carried out shortly after midnight, Haaretz reports citing an IDF official, who called it a direct response to Sunday’s deadly incident when an anti-tank projectile fired from Syrian territory struck near the border fence on the Israeli occupied Golan Heights.

“The shooting [on Sunday] was a very serious act of provocation, and a continuation of a series of attacks carried out over the past several months against IDF forces throughout the border region, and in this area specifically,” the statement reads.

A military command headquarters reportedly was among the targets hit in Syria.

Earlier on Sunday, in response to the killing of Israeli teen Mohammed Karaka, IDF artillery pounded military outposts on Syrian territory, with speculations about possible strikes against other targets.

The killed teenager was an Arab citizen of Israel, accompanying his father, a Defense Ministry civilian contractor, to the Golan, the ministry said, uncertain whether the boy was 15 or 13 years old. The father and two more people we injured in the incident.

An Israeli soldier prepares to load shells into his Merkava tank positioned near the Quneitra checkpoint on the border with Syria in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, on June 22, 2014. (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

It was not clear who exactly fired the anti-tank missile that hit the Israeli border from an area contested by the Syrian army and the rebels.

Relations between Syria and Israel have been tense since the civil war erupted in the country more than three years ago.

Ripped by internal warring factions, numerous cross-border shooting and shelling have become a common occurrence in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights, which Tel Aviv secured following the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

IDF aerial retaliatory strikes were reported in January 2013, when Israeli planes allegedly struck deep within Syrian territory, reportedly targeting anti-aircraft weaponry outside Damascus.

Israeli warplanes also struck a Syrian air-defense base near the port city of Latakia in October 2013, as confirmed by US officials, with some experts speculating that the target was missile equipment that may have been transferred to Lebanese Hezbollah.

In May 2013, Syrian media reported "Israeli airstrikes" targeting military positions in Damascus, following bombing in Rif Dimashq governorate. In July 2013, RT reported that Israel used a Turkish military base to launch one of its recent airstrikes against Syria from the sea, a week after July 5 depot attack in Latakia.