A senior military pro-regime source in Syria confirmed the salvo of rockets, but insisted Israel fired first. Quds force is behind attack and has played the initial price. The senior military official added that the Israeli strikes successfully set back the Iranian forces "by many months".
"At approximately 10 minutes past midnight, forces belonging to the Iranian Quds fired approximately 20 projectiles, a lot of them are probably rockets but that is yet to be determined, towards the forward line of (Israeli) positions in the Golan Heights". Israel did not officially acknowledge it was behind these attacks but it has been making preparations for possible Iranian retaliation for weeks.
The scale of the barrage appeared to be far higher than in previous incidents, and Damascus residents described seeing explosions above the city from air defence systems.
Syrian state media reported that the army's air defences had repelled an "Israeli aggression" on Syrian territory, shooting down scores of missiles.
"Dozens of missiles were shot down by anti-aircraft systems in Syrian airspace", SANA said.
The Observatory for Human Rights group based in the United Kingdom said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard in Kisweh, killing nine people.
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Dozens of Israeli missiles hit a radar station, Syrian air defense positions and an ammunition dump, Syrian state media said, underscoring the risks of a wider escalation involving Iran and its regional allies. "The Syrian regime can be held accountable for every little thing taking place in its territory", the press launch learn. Amid the reports of an immanent Iranian attack, the military revealed that it had deployed additional batteries for Israel's Iron Dome missile defence shield in the north, while the USA embassy in Tel Aviv prohibited United States government employees from traveling to the Golan Heights without prior authorization.
But the reports came after it noted "irregular activity" by Iranian forces in Syria.
Iran blamed Israel for the assassination of at least four Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012 and arrested a number of Iranians alleged to have carried out the killings on behalf of Israel's Mossad spy agency.
Expectations of a regional flare-up were stoked by U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Tuesday that he was withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal.
The two countries are still technically at war, although the border remained largely quiet for decades until 2011, when the Syrian conflict broke out.