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Four rockets were fired into Israel from Syria Thursday and the Israeli government accused an Iranian-backed group as being responsible.
No injuries were reported in the 5:35 p.m. local time (10:35 a.m. ET) rocket attack in the Upper Galilee and Golan Heights, and the Israeli military responded by launching airstrikes and artillery attacks against 14 targets in the Syrian Golan Heights.
Israel said the rocket attack was launched by a group calling itself Islamic Jihad, which it said was an Iranian proxy force commanded by Saed Izadi, an Iranian.
"For us this is a clear act of aggression and was meant by the Iranians to use the chaos inside Syria to escalate tensions in the region," an Israeli security source said.
Islamic Jihad denied the Israeli allegation, Reuters reported. It had previously threatened reprisals should one of its members in Israeli detention, Mohammed Allan, die of a hunger strike. Allan ended the fast on Wednesday after an Israeli court intervened.
The Israeli news organization Ynet said there were fatalities in Syria from one of the airstrikes.
The rocket fire is the first time rockets have been intentionally fired from inside Syria into northern Israel in 40 years, Israeli media reported. Rockets have occasionally been fired during fighting in the war-torn country and ended up in Israel in the past.
The Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement that the "Syrian government is responsible for attacks emanating from Syria."
The Israeli security source said, "We are not interested in being dragged into the conflict inside Syria."