Ministers: Iran Responsible for Northern Rocket Fire

YERUSHALAYIM -
Missile fire is seen over Damascus, Syria, Jan. 21. (SANA)

Iran is responsible for the firing of rockets into northern Israel from Syria Tuesday morning, Israeli officials said. Speaking to the Knesset Channel, government Minister Ze’ev Elkin said that “we got a reminder that we have a northern front from our friends in Tehran. We are engaged in a fierce battle to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent presence in Syria. We know that rockets were fired, and the Iron Dome system did what it was supposed to do.”

Four rockets were fired into Israel early Tuesday. In a statement, the IDF said that the incident occurred at about 5:00 a.m. “The rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system. It appeared that no rockets fell in Israeli territory.” Red Alert sirens sounded in communities in the northern Galilee and Golan Heights, sending thousands scurrying for cover. After the sirens, news sources in Syria said that explosions were heard at Damascus Airport, and the Russian Sputnik news agency said that the missile fire was defensive, aimed at a “hostile target” in southern Syria.

A Syrian human rights group said that the firing of the four missiles into Israel was a defensive act, with the missiles fired after Israel hit several military targets south and southwest of Damascus. The Syrian air defense system fired the missiles that entered Israel, but other missiles were fired as well, hitting an Israeli target, likely a drone, that had fired the Israeli missiles.

Speaking to Reshet Bet, Transportation Minister Betzalel Smotrich said that “Israel was taking many steps to prevent a strategic threat from developing and we are closely watching what is happening in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. We are aware of the attempts by Iran to set up a permanent presence in the area north of us. Our security apparatus is doing many of the things that need to be done in order to prevent this, and sometimes the other side does things as well. The security establishment is prepared for this, as we can see from the interception of the four rockets this morning.”