Israel launches airstrike on Syrian border after seeing bomb

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

JERUSALEM -- Israel's military said Sunday it launched an airstrike on its border with Syria after spotting militants carrying a bomb.

The military said it carried out the strike after troops saw "a group of armed terrorists" approach the border with an explosive that was intended to target Israeli troops. It said that Israeli aircraft "targeted the squad preventing the attack."

It did not offer any casualty figure for the strike. It also was not immediately clear which armed group in Syria had attempted the attack. The Israeli military said it was the first such attack this year, although there have been others in the past since Syria's civil war began in 2011.

Israel has tried to stay out of the war in Syria, but repeatedly has threatened to take military action to prevent Syria from transferring sophisticated weapons to its ally, Hezbollah.

Israel is believed to have carried out several airstrikes in Syria that have targeted sophisticated weapons systems, including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles.

There were reports in Arab media last week that Israel had carried out another attack on such weapons in Syria. Israeli officials have not commented.

But just hours before the border strike Sunday night, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned Syria and Iran against arming Hezbollah with such weapons.

"We will not allow the transfer of quality weapons to terror groups led by Hezbollah and we know how to reach them and those that dispatch them at any time," Yaalon said. He added that Iran is continuously trying to find ways to arm Hezbollah with the weapons.