Israeli army hit Syrian missile batteries after the explosion in the vicinity of the Dimona nuclear site in the south of the country.
An Israeli army says an anti-aircraft missile from Syria missed its target and exploded near a nuclear facility in the southern city of Dimona, an attack that a military spokesman said was likely to be an accident.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage in the incident that triggered warning sirens in the area near Dimona’s secret nuclear reactor. The Israeli military said the nuclear site was not hit by the blast.
Reporting from West Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett said the Syrian missile that landed near Dimona was a significant blast that could be heard in Jerusalem, about 150km (93 miles) away from the site.
An Israeli military spokesman said a Syrian missile had been fired at Israeli planes during an earlier strike and overrun its target and reached the Dimona area.
SA-5 was the errant missile from Syria, one of several fired at Israeli air force aircraft, according to the spokesman.
The Israeli military, in response to the launch, said it attacked several missile batteries in Syria, including the one that fired the projector and hit its territory.
“A surface-to-air missile was fired from Syria into Israel’s southern Negev. In response, we hit the missile-launched battery and additional surface-to-air batteries in Syria, ”the Israeli military said.
‘Syria intercepts Israeli attack’
Syrian state news agency SANA said Syrian air defenses intercepted an Israeli attack that targeted areas in the suburbs of Damascus early Thursday.
“Air defenses intercepted the rockets and dropped most of them,” said the SANA agency. However, four soldiers were injured in the attack and some material damage occurred, he said.
According to the Syrian Human Rights Observatory (SOHR) in Britain, Israeli missiles hit the Syrian government’s air defense base in the town of Dmeir – about 40km (25 miles) northeast of Damascus.
Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out raids in Syria, targeting mainly Hezbollah forces from Iran and Lebanon along with government troops. But it has rarely been publicly acknowledged.
Israel has long sought to prevent Iran’s bitter enemy from establishing itself in the war-torn nation.
The latest missile launch comes as tensions run high between Israel and Iran, with Tehran promising “revenge” after damaging its Natanz uranium enrichment plant.
Iran said it believed Israel was behind the incident – when a small explosion hit the plant’s electricity distribution earlier this month.
Israel did not claim responsibility for the incident, but media reports without sources in the country attributed it to Israeli security services carrying out “cyber-operation”.
The New York Times, quoting anonymous intelligence officials from the United States and Israel, also said there had been an “Israeli role” in the attack.
“In the context of what has been happening in recent weeks, the very high tensions between Iran and Israel over the Iran nuclear program and the Israeli-assaulted Iranian Natanz facility, there was immediate concern that it could this is the next step in this shadow. a confrontation, a dangerous one and a very escalator, ”said Fawcett.
“However, what the Israeli military said happened was that an anti-craft battery from Syria targeting Israeli ordnance came in, overrun its target and went all the way into Israel and exploded over right of Israel. That’s something that has some precedent, ”he explained.