Iranian forces in Syria launched a rocket attack on Israeli army bases in the Golan Heights early on Thursday, Israel said, prompting one of the heaviest Israeli barrages in Syria since the conflict there began in 2011.
The heightened tension comes in the wake of the announcement by President Donald Trump that the United States would pull out of the worldwide deal with Iran.
"The IDF has struck dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria in response to the Iranian rocket attack against Israel".
Israel will no doubt strike back following any attack on its territory, a scenario that could spiral into a wider conflict that experts say no side is now interested in.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said that Israel intercepted "a few" of the rockets and there have been no reports of casualties and injury to Israeli positions has been "limited".
The Israeli army says it is investigating and has no further details.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom -based opposition group that monitors the country via a network of observers, said on its website that two powerful explosions were heard in central Damascus.
"Dozens of missiles were shot down by anti-aircraft systems in Syrian airspace", SANA said.
Among the targets were intelligence sites, military bases and weapons depots in the Syrian Golan Heights and near Damascus. Hours later, state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV broadcast a live feed of Syrian air defenses firing into the sky above the capital, and loud explosions and air defense firing were heard through the night.
Israel said the Quds Force, the expeditionary wing of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, carried out the attack at around 12.10am on Thursday.
The spokesman said that the Zionist military didn't want to escalate.
It added that it "will not allow the Iranian threat to establish itself in Syria. The Syrian regime can be held accountable for every little thing taking place in its territory", the press launch learn. Iran's presence in Syria is no match for Israel's powerful military, and Iran's hopes of salvaging the deal and appearing moderate on the world stage may further hinder its ability to strike back. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit told Israel's Channel 10 News that more than 50 targets were hit in the strike.
Iran is Israel's arch-foe and has repeatedly called for an end to the existence of the Jewish state.
Washington is encouraging Israel to go on the offensive as it prepares for war with Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has backed The Donald's decision to quit the Iran nuke deal and has prepared for for a tense regional flare-up.
Speaking from Moscow, where he traveled to secure Russian assent to Israel's continued targeting of Iranians in Syria, Netanyahu preposterously compared the Tehran regime to the Nazis.