Arch-enemies Iran and Israel edged closer to all-out war on Thursday after Israel’s military said its positions in the Golan Heights were fired at with a barrage of Iranian rockets, prompting it to respond with extensive strikes targeting Tehran’s forces across Syria.
The attack, if confirmed, would mark the first time Iran has fired rockets in a direct strike on Israeli forces, dramatically ratcheting up what has for years been a conflict fought through proxies.
Several but not all of the Iranian rockets were intercepted by Israeli defences, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman, Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, told reporters.
“At approximately 12.10, 10 minutes past midnight, forces belonging to the Iranian Quds Force fired approximately 20 projectiles – most of them are probably rockets but that is yet to be determined – towards the forward line of IDF positions in the Golan Heights,” he said.
“So far we are not aware of any casualties, any IDF casualties,” he said. A preliminary assessment found there was minimal damage, he added.
Israel accused the general in charge of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ external operations branch of orchestrating the attack.
“It was ordered and commanded by Qassem Soleimani and it has not achieved its purpose,” Conricus said.
The occupied Golan Heights has been on high alert since Donald Trump confirmed he was pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.
“The IDF views this Iranian attack very severely,” Conricus said. “This event is not over.”