Israel retaliates as it claims two rockets launched from Lebanon

sraeli soldiers stand guard after firing flares above the northern town of Metula, by the border with Lebanon, following a pro-Palestinian protest across the border in the Lebanese Khiam area, on May 14. JALAA MAREY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Two rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon's northern border, prompting retaliation by the Israeli military, marking additional cross-border instability hours after Syria accused Israel of conducting airstrikes there.

Following reports of explosions in Syria's northwest, the Syrian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that "the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression towards southeast Aleppo, targeting some sites in the Al-Safira area" at around 11:37 p.m. local time, according to an official source.

"Our air defenses engaged the aggressor's missiles and shot down the majority of them," the statement said, "and the aggression's results are currently being assessed."

When Newsweek contacted the Israel Defense Forces for a response, a representative responded, "we do not comment on reports in the foreign media."

The IDF reported that "two rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory." after sirens sounded in Israel's Western Galilee region.

"The Iron Dome Air Defense System intercepted one rocket," according to the statement, referring to Israel's anti-rocket system, "while the second fell in an open area."

No specific Home Front Command guidelines have been published, according to the statement, indicating that there is no immediate risk of escalation in northern Israel. "IDF Artillery struck in Lebanese territory." the Israeli military declared shortly after.

The last flare-up between Israeli and Lebanese land occurred in May when three consecutive barrages of rockets were fired from Lebanon onto Israeli territory during a significant flare-up between the IDF and Gaza-based Palestinian groups commanded by Hamas, provoking retaliatory IDF fire. Pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the border fence at the time, and the Israeli soldiers opened fire, killing at least one person.

While the 11-day fight concluded with an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire, violence has continued in Gaza, with incendiary balloons fired from the Palestinian enclave and Israel launching at least three rounds of airstrikes.

There have also been incidents near the UN-monitored Blue Line that separates Israel and Lebanon, where the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement operates.

The IDF reported last week that its forces witnessed a "smuggling attempt using a variety of means, in both overt and covert ways" including 43 weapons.

"Among other things, the IDF is examining the possibility that the smuggling attempt was carried out with the help of the Hezbollah terror organization," the statement added at the time, "and is investigating, along with the Israeli Police, the perpetrators of the weapon smuggling attempt."

Israeli aircraft fired three flares outside the perimeter wall near the southern Lebanese border village of Mays al-Jabal, according to Lebanon's official National News Agency on Sunday.

Publish : 2021-07-20 09:28:00

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