Israeli warplanes and missiles struck nine Syrian military positions early Monday in retaliation for an earlier cross-border attack that killed a 14-year-old boy and wounded three other civilians in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, according to the Israel Defense Forces and news agency reports.
"Direct hits were confirmed," the Israeli military said in its statement.
There was no immediate word on casualties from the post-midnight strikes inside Syria and the extent of damage inflicted.
But the attacks appeared to be among the most extensive that Israel has launched to date on Syrian territory since the
But on Monday, Israel acknowledged the retaliatory strikes. The official statement said the action was in response to the cross-border incident Sunday that killed the 14-year-old boy and wounded three others, including the boy's father, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israeli authorities initially described the earlier attack as an "explosion," possibly from mortar fire or a planted bomb.
The incident was "not a case of errant fire, but of an intentional attack," the Israeli military said in its statement.
Shells from the Syrian conflict have occasionally landed in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. But Sunday's incident was reportedly the first time that someone had been killed on the Israeli side of the disputed frontier.
It was never publicly clarified if the Syrian military or anti-government rebels were behind the explosion that killed the teenager. Both the Syrian army and insurgents are active on the Syrian side.
In an initial response, Israel tanks fired Sunday at Syrian government targets inside Syria, news agencies reported. Those shelling attacks were followed early Monday by the Israeli strikes on nine Syrian military targets.
There was no immediate reaction from Syrian authorities.
Israel seized the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau, from Syria during the 1967 war.
Special correspondent Sobelman reported from Jerusalem and staff writer McDonnell from Beirut.