Northern Golan and the Galilee Panhandle were alerted by explosions shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19. The IDF said 4 rockets fired from Syria were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system. Syria also reported blasts near Damascus airport.
The sirens were heard in Shear Yeshuv, Dan, Dafne, Kfar Szold and Shnir in Upper Galilee and Nimrod, Masade, Ain Kanya, Majdel Shams and Neve Ativ in northern Golan near the Syrian border. No direct hits or Israeli casualties were immediately reported.
The Syrian army reported strong blasts in the military section of Damascus international airport caused by an air strike and activation of its air defenses.
Last week, Israeli missiles targeted the Damascus home of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Akram Al-Ajouri.
DEBKAfile reports that it is not clear which of the two attacks on Tuesday morning came first. The Syrian statement claims that the rocket fire against its military air facilities came from IDF positions on Mt. Hermon and were intercepted by its air defense batteries. Other sources report that Israel struck targets on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Our military sources add: The exchange of rocket fire between Syria and Israel appears to follow on an abruptly called command-level exercise in northern Israel, which placed Israel forces on full alert near the Syrian border. The prime minister, defense minister and the chief of staff went concurrently into urgent conference. Both these events passed unnoticed in the ongoing flood of political crisis reporting.
Some of the fog cleared early Tuesday when the IDF was said to have struck an as yet unidentified Iranian target in Syria, following which Iran shot 4 rockets at the Golan.
For the first time, therefore, Iran upheld its repeated threat of a response to every Israeli attack against it.
It now remains to be seen whether Tehran is satisfied with a 4-rocket salvo against Israel and, also, whether the IDF holds back from responding.