Syrian anti-aircraft missile lands near Israeli nuclear site | Middle East News

The Israeli army strikes Syrian missile batteries after the explosion near the Dimona nuclear site in the south of the country.

IDF says Syrian anti-aircraft missile missed target and exploded near nuclear facility in southern city of Dimona, attack says army spokesman likely accident .

There were no immediate reports of injury or damage in the incident that set off warning sirens in the area near the secret Dimona nuclear reactor. The Israeli military said the nuclear site was not affected by the blast.

Reporting from West Jerusalem, Harry Fawcett of Al Jazeera said the Syrian missile that fell near Dimona was a large explosion that could be heard in Jerusalem, about 150 km (93 miles) from the site.

An IDF spokesman said the Syrian missile was fired at an Israeli plane in an earlier strike and flew over its target and hit the Dimona area.

The stray Syrian missile was an SA-5, one of several fired at Israeli Air Force planes, the spokesperson said.

The IDF said that in response to the launch it attacked several missile batteries in Syria, including the one that fired the projectile that struck its territory.

“A surface-to-air missile was fired from Syria towards the southern Israeli Negev. In response, we hit the battery from which the missile was launched and additional surface-to-air batteries in Syria, ”the IDF said.

‘Syria intercepts Israeli attack’

Syrian state news agency SANA said Syrian air defenses intercepted the Israeli attack that targeted areas on the outskirts of Damascus early Thursday.

“Air defenses intercepted the rockets and shot down most of them,” SANA said. However, four soldiers were injured in the attack and property damage occurred, he said.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Israeli missiles struck the Syrian government air defense base in the town of Dmeir, about 40 km northeast of Damascus.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel has carried out regular raids in Syria, mainly targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces as well as government troops. But he rarely recognized them publicly.

Israel has long sought to prevent Iran’s bitter enemy from establishing itself in the war-torn nation.

The latest missile launch comes amid high tensions between Israel and Iran, with Tehran promising “revenge” after the sabotage of its Natanz uranium enrichment plant.

Iran said it believed Israel was behind the incident – when a small explosion hit the plant’s power distribution earlier this month.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the incident, but information not provided by media in the country attributed it to Israeli security services carrying out a “cyber operation.”

The New York Times, citing unnamed US and Israeli intelligence officials, also said there was “an Israeli role” in the attack.

“In the context of what has happened in recent weeks, very strong tensions between Iran and Israel over the Iranian nuclear program and the attack attributed to Israel against the Iranian installation of Natanz, there was immediate concern that this could be the next step in this shadow. conflict, a very dangerous conflict and escalation, ”Fawcett said.

“However, what the IDF said did take place was that a Syrian anti-boat battery targeting incoming Israeli ammunition, flew over its target and went to Israel and exploded overhead. southern Israel. This is something for which there is a precedent, ”he explained.

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