Another brush with near war in in northern Israel after Israel bombed a missile launcher on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights on Monday night in retaliation for firing on Israeli fighter jets running a routine mission in Israeli airspace earlier in the day.
Two Syrian soldiers were killed, according to media reports. The Israeli jets were not hit.
Usually silent on alleged attacks against Syrian targets, Israel has lately readily admitted to certain targets that include “red line” violations and taking a strong stance against any sign of aggression.
Israel’s main concern throughout the civil war in Syria has been that Hezbollah, based in southern Lebanon, would expand it presence to outposts in Syria close to the Israeli border. The missile launcher that Israel struck on Monday was based near Quneitra, a city under control of the Syrian government.
“The IDF views with gravity any threat against its planes and takes active measures to defend them. The missile landed in Syrian territory and did not harm the aircraft,” the military said.
Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the incident saying: “Our policy is clear: We will not tolerate any aggression toward us and we will respond forcefully.”
The IDF said that an anti-aircraft shell was fired “at an Israeli fighter jet that was in the midst of a routine flight in the north of the country.” It landed in Syrian territory and did not damage the Israeli plane, whose “mission was completed as planned.”
Toward the start of the Syrian civil war, the Israeli military established a number of “red lines” for which it would strike back.