Israel launches airstrikes on Iranian forces in Syria

Beirut: Israel says it is has launched airstrikes against Iranian Revolutionary Guards special forces, Quds, inside Syria.

Israel has also issued a statement warning Syrian armed forces not to try to harm Israeli territory or forces.

Meanwhile, Syria’s state news agency SANA, says its military air defences thwarted “hostile targets” on Sunday night and shot down several of them.

Earlier on Sunday, Syrian air defences repelled an Israeli attack in the south of the country, bringing down seven missiles, SANA said.

Witnesses in Damascus said loud explosions rang out in the night sky.

“We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory. We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory,” Israel’s military said.

The overnight strikes followed cross-border attacks on Sunday in which Syria said it repelled an Israeli air attack. Israel said it intercepted a rocket fired at the Golan Heights.

“We have a permanent policy, to strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and hurt whoever tries to hurt us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier.

Read the report by Ellen Francis in the The Sydney Morning Herald (Reuters).