It has just been reported that an anti-air missile fired by the Syrian army overnight crossed into Israel and exploded over the Mediterranean near Haifa. The missile was fired to repel an air attack on Tuesday night that Syria attributed to Israel.
Syria alleged that Israeli warplanes flew over Lebanon’s airspace at around 1:26 AM local time on Wednesday and fired missiles into Syria at targets near the city of Homs. The targets included Hezbollah personnel and arms shipments. The airstrike also hit the headquarters of Hezbollah’s Syrian branch in the town of Al-Mazraa, as well as positions occupied by pro-Hezbollah militias inside Syria.
The strike was the fourth attack this month that Syria attributed to Israel. Israel does not normally comment on military operations it may carry out outside of its borders.
Syrian state media claimed that their military had succeeded in shooting down most of the Israeli missiles but heavy damage resulted nonetheless. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least four people were killed in the attack; two from missile strikes on the western outskirts of the city of Homs and two more in the vicinity of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, apparently as a result of missile shrapnel. It is still unclear whether the shrapnel came from incoming missiles or was the result of Syrian anti-air systems. At least six people were reportedly injured in the attack.
According to a report by Israel’s Channel 12 on Wednesday morning, one of the surface-to-air missiles fired by Syria’s air defense network at the attacking planes continued flying south after missing its target, entering Israeli airspace, and exploding near Haifa Bay. The report claimed that ” the Israeli air defense system monitored the missile, but decided not to intercept it because it did not endanger civilians.” The Israeli media report identified the missile as an SA-5 which has a high-altitude self-destruct system.