- The Washington Times - Friday, August 21, 2015

The Israeli Air Force launched a second wave of airstrikes on southwestern Syria on Friday morning in retaliation to a barrage of rockets that hit Israel a day earlier — the first time since 1973 that rockets from Syrian territory have soared into Israel.

No one was injured when four rockets exploded in an open field in Israel’s northern Galilee area on Thursday.

There was also no claim of responsibility. But Israel said the rockets had been launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group inside Syria and initially responded with a wave of overnight strikes against Syrian army posts along the Golan Heights on the Syria-Israel border.

A second wave of Israeli strikes came Friday morning — marking it as the heaviest Israeli bombardment inside Syria since the start of the 4-year-old Syrian civil war.

Israeli defense officials said four Palestinian militants were killed in the strikes.

Syrian state TV, meanwhile, reported that six people were killed and seven wounded in the strikes, and that an Israeli drone strike Friday had targeted a “civilian car” close to a busy market in a village situated deeper inside Syria than the Golan Heights.

Ahmad Sheikh Abdul-Qader, governor of the southern region of Quneitra, said the attack happened on the road leading to the village of Khan Arnabeh, near Kom, and destroyed the car, according to The Associated Press, which cited the Syrian TV report as its source.

The report also said that an Israeli air raid overnight in Quneitra had killed a soldier and wounded seven.

The Israeli military did not comment on the reported casualties but said it carried out a raid Friday morning on “part of the terror cell responsible for the rocket fire at northern Israel,” according to the AP.

Israel said it had credible information that Iran, a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, was behind Thursday’s rocket attack.

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