Israeli planes struck nine targets in Syria early Monday morning in response to a Syrian missile attack that killed a 15-year-old Arab-Israeli and wounded three other civilians in the Golan Heights on Sunday. According to the IDF, armed gunmen inside Syria deliberately targeted an Israeli civilian vehicle using what appears to be a Kornet anti-tank missile. Officials believe that the strike was most likely perpetrated by the Syrian government or its Hezbollah allies, which are both known to have Kornets.
An Israeli soldier prays on a Merkava tank on the Israeli-Syrian border near Quneitra. (Photo: Getty Images)
Israeli retaliatory airstrikes hit the headquarters of Syria’s 90th army brigade as well as seven other military posts and destroyed two tanks. The Syrian Foreign Ministry released a statement denouncing the raid saying the “Israeli attack was a flagrant violation of our sovereignty and rules of international law.” Conflicting reports indicate that four to ten Syrian soldiers died during the incident.
Israel stated that the 15-year-old boy’s death is the most significant escalation in the Golan Heights since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011. Last March, a roadside bomb near the border with Syria injured four IDF soldiers. In response to Sunday’s killing, Prime Minister Netanyahu promised that Israel would seek to deter future violence, responding with more aggressive force in the event another attack.