JERUSALEM — In an extraordinary statement, the Israeli military confirmed early Monday that it attacked Iranian military targets in Syria, hours after carrying out a rare daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.
The statement was issued hours after Israeli missile defenses intercepted an incoming missile over the Golan Heights in the wake of the airport raid. “We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory,” the military statement said. “We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory.”
Until now Israel has largely refrained from public admissions of its covert military operations in neighboring Syria, in order to avoid large-scale involvement in the eight-year civil war. The Syrian military said Israel carried out intensive airstrikes with successive waves of guided missiles shortly after 1 a.m., but added that Syrian air defenses destroyed most of the missiles before they reached their targets.