Jerusalem/Damascus: A missile attack launched from Syria on Thursday morning took place near Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility. There was no damage to the nuclear facility. Israel, however, has responded by launching airstrikes in Syria. According to Israeli military analysts, it is the first time Syria used long-range missiles that can target southern Israel. Israeli media warned the rockets could be a matter of concern for Israel’s security.
Dimona nuclear reactor is in the southern Israeli city of Negev. On early Thursday morning, the incoming missile crashed in Abu Krinat, a village roughly 1 kilometre from Dimona. It triggered sirens located within the periphery of the nuclear site. Locals claim to have heard the sound of the exploding missile as far as Jerusalem. Israeli fighters then launched pounding attacks near the Syrian capital, Damascus. Syria’s state news agency alleged four of its soldiers were killed in the strikes.
The Israeli military says a Russian-made SA-5 surface-to-air missile had crashed at Abu Krinat. The rockets are used to respond to airstrikes. The missiles, launched by Syria to respond to Israeli air raids, hit directly near Dimona. Israeli military analysts have therefore asserted that Syria has warned of owning rockets, reaching as far as southern Israeli cities.
Israel deployed air defence systems to protect the Dimona nuclear facility, as well as major cities, locations and military bases. Israel has also kept the US-built Patriot air defence system ready for protecting the Dimona nuclear site.
How did the missiles, launched 300 kilometres from Syria, then reach Dimona?’ and ‘How did the Patriot missile defence fail?’ are some of the questions raised after the incident. Also, the Israeli military has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Last week, an Iranian newspaper had demanded a tit-for-tat retaliation to the blast at Natanz nuclear facility by attacking Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor. The newspaper is owned by Hossein Shariatmadari, a former adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As the attack near Dimona occurred only five days from the incident at Natanz, Israeli media strong suspect Iran or Iranian-backed terrorist groups in Syria were responsible for it.