Israeli army says rockets fired toward Israel from Syria
Israel said on Monday that several rockets were fired at its territory from Syria by an Iranian-backed force in what would be a rare incident, but that they all fell short.
"Earlier this morning, a number of rockets were launched from Syria towards Israel, all failed to hit Israeli territory," a statement from Israel's military said.
"The rockets were launched from the outskirts of Damascus by Shiite militia operatives operating under the Iranian Quds Force [the elite wing of Iran's Revolutionary Guards]," it said.
The statement came after overnight air strikes in Syria hit positions of pro-Iranian forces in eastern Syria, killing 18 fighters, according the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
It was not clear who carried out the raids near Al Bukamal, close to the Syria-Iraq border, the UK-based activist group said.
The Observatory said "18 fighters were killed, but their nationalities have not yet been determined".
Al Bukamal lies in Deir Ezzor province which covers much of Syria's remote eastern desert, where the Islamic State's "caliphate" made its last stand this year.
Control of the area is split between US-backed Kurdish fighters and groups aligned with the Damascus government.
The attack near Al Bukamal came after Hezbollah, the Lebanese movement back by Iran, said on Monday that it had downed an Israeli unmanned aircraft outside a southern Lebanese town after it crossed the border.
The Israeli drone is now in the hands of Hezbollah's fighters, the movement said in a statement.
The Israeli military said one of its drones "fell inside southern Lebanon during routine operations".
Sarah, a 32-year-old social worker who spoke to Middle East Eye following the drone incident but asked for her village not to be named, said: "Things are normal in the south.
"There is no tension. Life almost immediately went back to normal, and people went about their usual business after both incidents (the downing of the drone last month and on Sunday).
"People woke up to the news today, but went on to make hrisseh (a dish traditionally made during Ashoura), or gather for Ashoura sermons.
"I wasn't worried or afraid because I knew that the resistance would respond in kind to any Israeli attack, and the Israelis know that."
In June 2018, strikes near the Iraqi border killed 55 pro-government forces, mostly Syrians and Iraqis, the Observatory said.
A US official said at the time that Israel was responsible. Israel declined to comment.
Last week, Fox News reported that the Iranian military was building a new military base in Syria, citing multiple Western intelligence sources.
The report said that the new Iranian compound, situated where Monday's strikes took place, was being built from scratch by the Quds forces.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in neighbouring Syria against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets, but rarely acknowledges them.
An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Israel was behind the latest strikes, the AFP news agency said.
Iran, its allied militias and Russia have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's devastating eight-year civil war.
Israel has vowed to prevent Iran, its main regional rival, from entrenching itself militarily in Syria.