Israel Intercepts Four Rockets Launched From Syria

Israel Intercepts Four Rockets Launched From Syria

Four rockets were launched from Syria toward the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights at dawn on Tuesday, setting off air-raid sirens but causing no harm, according to the Israeli military.

The military said that the incoming fire was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system and that it appeared no rockets had fallen on the Israeli-controlled side of the line.

It was not immediately clear if the rocket fire from Syria was meant as a surprise attack or came in response to Israeli activity across its northern frontier. Around the same time as the rocket launches, Sana, the official Syrian news agency, reported that explosions were heard in the vicinity of the Damascus airport.

An Israeli military spokeswoman had no comment on the report from Syria.

After decades of quiet, there have been occasional exchanges of fire across the old Israeli-Syrian armistice line as Israel has worked, mostly clandestinely, to curb Iran’s growing influence in Syria, largely under cover of the chaos of Syria’s civil war.

Abandoning years of ambiguity over Israeli involvement in specific attacks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged early this year that Israeli forces had attacked Iranian weapons warehouses at Damascus International Airport.

Israel’s shadow war against Iran became even more public this summer when it carried out a series of strikes in the region, including one that killed two Iranian-trained militants in Syria who Israel said were preparing to dispatch armed drones to attack it.

The latest tensions in the north came days after a flare-up across Israel’s border with Gaza to the south. Palestinian militants from Islamic Jihad fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, and Israeli warplanes struck targets in Gaza, in a two-day clash set off by Israel’s killing of a senior Islamic Jihad commander there in a surprise airstrike.

The Syrian authorities and Islamic Jihad also blamed Israel for another, almost simultaneous, missile attack on the Damascus home of Akram al-Ajouri, describing him as a member of the group’s political bureau in Syria. Mr. al-Ajouri survived the attack, but his son and another person were reported killed in the strike. Maintaining its more customary silence in an effort to avoid retaliation, Israel neither claimed nor denied responsibility for that attack.

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