Israeli residents along the country's tense border with Syria were urged to take cover in shelters. Some projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense systems. The attack was first reported by the Army Radio network operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The IDF said no injuries had been reported. The army said it viewed the attack "with great severity" and was prepared for a "wide variety of scenarios."
Social media users reported that Israeli tanks fired at positions in Syria, Israeli air sorties were initiated, and that Syrian artillery shelled Israeli targets.
Recent tensions in the area spurred the Israel Defense Forces to send military vehicles, troops, and missile interceptors to Golan Heights earlier in the day. Israel had been on high alert already after the country claimed to detect unusual "Iranian activity" in Syria. On Tuesday, after US President Donald Trump exited the Iran nuclear deal, Israeli attacks in Syria reportedly killed eight Iranians.
Syrian media reported earlier that Israeli rockets had been intercepted near the occupied Golan Heights. Israel said it had retaliated against Iranian forces in Syria who had fired around 20 rockets at Israel's frontline positions.
"Launches of about 20 missiles were registered at around midnight toward the frontier positions in the Golan Heights by Iran's al-Quds forces," an Israeli army spokesman told reporters. "Several bases were targeted," the spokesman said, adding that some rockets were intercepted.
The Israeli military said it viewed the attack "with great severity."
Syrian state media reported that its air-defense systems engaged multiple waves of missile attacks fired by Israeli war planes. Social media reports said the rockets were intercepted over Damascus.
Israeli missile strikes against Damascus continued for hours after the skirmish erupted near the Golan Heights. The escalation marked a significant confrontation between Israel and Syria and perhaps the biggest military escalation since the Yom Kippur War, also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, which ended with an agreement on disengagement in 1974.
According to the Syrian-based media reports, Israeli shelling destroyed a Syrian radar site early on Thursday. Moreover, several Israeil rockets hit several military sites. Syrian state media reported earlier that southern suburbs of the Syrian city of Homs came under heavy fire. A military source told the SANA news agency one of the rockets struck an ammunition warehouse.
In addition, Israeli warplanes raided Iranian positions in Syria overnight, firing dozens of rockets into the Syrian territory in response to a barrage of Iranian rockets, the Israeli army said Thursday. "The Israeli Defense Forces attacked tens of military targets belonging to Iran's al-Quds militia in the Syrian territory," the military said in a statement.