Iran launches rockets into Israeli side of Golan Heights

  • 10/05/2018

Iranian forces on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights fired approximately 20 projectiles or rockets at Israeli targets in the Golan Heights on Thursday (NZ time).

Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said Israel intercepted "a few" of the rockets and there were no reports of casualties and that damage to Israeli positions was "limited."

The Israeli military earlier said several air raid sirens had sounded in the area of the Golan Heights and it is looking into the cause.

Tensions have been high since US President Donald Trump announced he was quitting the Iranian nuclear deal on Tuesday, prompting Israel to go on high alert.

On Tuesday the Israeli military claimed to have identified "irregular activity" by Iranian forces in Syria, and instructed civic authorities on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to ready bomb shelters. It also deployed new defences and mobilised some reservist forces.

Israel's government was a strong supporter of, and advocate for, Mr Trump's decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal and has been readying itself for a possible regional flare-up.

In the run-up to Mr Trump's decision, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised presentation last week that Israel had obtained tens of thousands of pages of what he described as Iran's "secret atomic archives" from what looked from the outside to be a dilapidated Tehran warehouse.

Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah have been helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad beat back a seven-year-old rebellion. Israel has carried out repeated air strikes against them, hoping to stop the formation of a Lebanese-Syrian front to its north.

On Tuesday Syrian state media had accused Israel of launching missiles at a target near Damascus, shortly after Mr Trump's announcement. Syrian air defences fired at two Israeli missiles, destroying both, Syrian state news agency SANA said.