Israeli missile hits Quneitra, Syria reports casualties

Damascus (AFP) –


Syria said Israel carried out a missile attack that caused casualties on Monday, in what Israel's army said was a retaliatory strike.

"An Israeli missile targeted Tel al-Shaar in Quneitra," the Syrian news agency said, adding a "military vehicle was targeted and there are wounded".

The Israeli military confirmed it carried out an air strike in Syria in retaliation for what it said was anti-aircraft fire targeting one of its fighter jets.

The Syrian province of Quneitra includes the Golan Heights, most of which is occupied and annexed by Israel.

"Earlier today, Syrian anti-aircraft systems fired at an IDF fighter jet during a routine flight in northern Israel," the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

It said the projectile missed and the plane completed its journey before "the IDF targeted the launcher that had fired" at the jet.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the Israeli missile was "reportedly fired from the occupied part of the Golan".

Its director, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP that three Syrian soldiers were wounded.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria, most of them against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

Hezbollah is a Lebanese Shiite group that supports Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, who is also backed by Tehran.

The Israeli strike comes amid soaring tensions in the region between Israel's arch-foe Iran and the United States.

The stand-off has been simmering since the United States last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear treaty which Iran reached with major world powers.

In recent days the US accused Iran of alleged threats and last week deployed an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf.