Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The Israeli military said Wednesday it carried out "wide-scale" strikes against Iranian targets in Syria overnight in retaliation for rockets fired at the country a day earlier.
Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee said in a statement that warplanes had struck dozens of Iran's elite Al Quds Forces and Syrian military targets in Syria, including surface-to-air missiles, munition depots and military bases in areas concentred near Damascus.
"Anyone who shoots at the state of Israel during the day will not sleep at night," said Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett. "Our message to Iran's leaders is simple: You are no longer immune. Wherever you stretch your tentacles, we will hack them off."
The IDF said it also destroyed several Syrian air defense batteries as surface-to-air missiles were fired from Syria at the attacking forces despite receiving warnings to stand down.
"I have made it clear that whoever hurts us -- we will hurt him," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. "This is what we did overnight vis-a-vis military targets of the Iranian Al Quds force and Syrian military targets in Syria after a barrage of rockets was launched at Israel."
Syria's SANA news agency reported that two civilians were killed and two others were injured in the attack while claiming the Syrian military intercepted most of the Israeli-launched missiles.
Israel has blamed Tuesday's rocket launch from Syria on Iran, and the IDF said it is prepared for retaliation.
"Yesterday's Iranian attack on Israeli territory by firing intercepted missiles is the best proof of Iran's real reason in Syria," Adraee said. "Iranian positions pose a threat to Israel's security, stability in the region and the Syrian regime."
The attack comes a week after Israel conducted a predawn strike on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, killing one of its commanders, Baha Abu al-Ata.