Iran Forces Fire on Israel in Golan Heights

This photo provided early Thursday, May 10, 2018, by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows missiles rise into the sky as Israeli missiles hit air defense position and other military bases, in Damascus, Syria. The Israeli military on Thursday said it attacked "dozens" of Iranian targets in neighboring Syria in response to an Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, in the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

This photo provided early Thursday, May 10, 2018, by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows missiles rise into the sky as Israeli missiles hit air defense position and other military bases, in Damascus, Syria. The Israeli military on Thursday said it attacked “dozens” of Iranian targets in neighboring Syria in response to an Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, in the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

Iranian forces based in Syria fired 20 rockets at Israeli front-line military positions in the Golan Heights early Thursday, the Israeli military said, triggering an Israeli reprisal and escalating already heightened tensions in what appeared to be the most serious violence in years.

The Israeli military said its Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted some of the incoming projectiles, while others caused only minimal damage. There were no Israeli casualties.

The Syrian capital of Damascus shook with sounds of explosions just before dawn, and firing by Syrian air defenses over the city was heard throughout the night. An Israeli official said Israel was targeting Iranian positions inside Syria. Syrian state TV quoted a Syrian military official as saying Israel was trying to hit air defense positions and radar stations.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said earlier that Iran’s Al Quds force fired the rockets at several Israeli bases, though he would not say how Israel determined the Iranian involvement. The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Israeli-controlled Golan, which was captured from Syria in the 1967 war. Israel “views this Iranian attack very severely,” Conricus told reporters. He said Israel had responded, but did not provide details.

“This event is not over,” he said.

Syria’s state media said Syrian air defenses had intercepted “hostile Israeli missiles” early Thursday that were fired over southwestern Damascus. Hours later, state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV broadcast a live feed of Syrian air defenses firing into the sky above the capital, and loud explosions and air defense firing were heard through the night. Syrian activists reported Israeli airstrikes hitting targets near Damascus.

One video posted online showed a large explosion and shrapnel flying in the air. Residents reported loud sounds that rocked their buildings. It was not immediately clear what was hit.

An Israeli army spokesman, Avichay Adraee, said on Twitter that Israel was “acting against Iranian targets inside Syria,” a rare admission by an Israeli official.