Speed Reads

Crisis in Syria

Israel reportedly launches strike on Syria, leaving 1 dead

On Sunday, Israel launched a strike into Syria targeting a vehicle traveling from Damascus to a town in the Golan Heights, leaving one dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says. The Lebanese news service Al Mayadeen said the person killed in the strike was Yasser Hussein Asayeed, a militia member aligned with the Syrian government. A spokesman for the Israeli army would not comment on the report.

Two days earlier, Israeli jets struck what Tel Aviv said was a weapons shipment from Syria to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group. Syrian forces shot multiple surface-to-air missiles at the jets, and for the first time, Israel fired its Arrow interceptor missile at a rocket headed for its territory, the Los Angeles Times reports. "The next time that the Syrian air defenses fire at us, we will destroy them completely without thinking twice," Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio.

The confrontation didn't sit well with Russia, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's allies; after the incident, the country's foreign ministry called the Israeli ambassador to Moscow to show Russia's displeasure with the attack. Israel is concerned that as the Syrian government makes gains against the rebels in the country's civil war, its allies like Iran and Hezbollah could gain a permanent presence along the Golan Heights border.