Israeli soldiers operate a Merkava tank in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Israel carried out air strikes in Syria on Sunday in response to rare rocket fire from the neighboring country, its military said. A UK-based war monitor reported that 10 people, including Syrian soldiers and foreign fighters, were killed.

The Israeli army said two rockets were fired from Syria at Mount Hermon in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights late Saturday and one had been “located within Israeli territory.”

In response, the army attacked “two Syrian artillery batteries, a number of observation and intelligence posts on the Golan Heights, and a SA-2 aerial defense battery,” its statement said.

The Israeli attack left three Syrian soldiers and seven foreign fighters dead, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

According to the Observatory, they died in missile strikes close the capital Damascus where Syrian troops, Iranian forces and Hezbollah fighters are stationed. It did not specify the nationality of the foreign fighters.

Syrian anti-aircraft defenses fired against “enemy missiles” from Israel targeting positions in southwest Damascus, the official SANA news agency quoted a military source as saying.

The Israeli army said its own aerial defense systems were activated due to the Syrian anti-aircraft fire, but none of the Syrian fire hit Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had ordered the strike.

“We won’t tolerate fire at our territory and will respond forcefully to any aggression against us,” he said.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria, most of them against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

– with reporting by AFP

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