Jerusalem: Israel`s prime minister on Monday warned the warring parties in Syria against any attempt to heat up tensions with Israel, hours after the Israeli air force carried out a string of airstrikes in Syria in response to a deadly cross-border attack.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would respond with even tougher force if there are any further attacks against his country.
"Last night we operated with great force against Syrian targets that acted against us, and if needed we will use additional force," he told members of his Likud Party. "We will continue to forcefully hurt anyone who attacks us or tries to attack us."
The Israeli military said the air raids struck nine targets in neighboring Syria. The Syrian government has not commented, but an activist group said the airstrikes killed at least 10 troops and destroyed an army command center.
The director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdurrahman, said the Israeli strikes destroyed two tanks, two artillery batteries and the headquarters of Syria`s 90th brigade.
The Observatory collects its information through a network of activists inside Syria.
The Israeli military said "direct hits were confirmed" on the targets, which were located near the site of yesterday`s violence in the Golan Heights and included a regional military command center and unspecified "launching positions."
Israel has kept a close eye on the Syrian uprising since it began in March 2011, although it has avoided backing either side in the conflict. On several occasions, artillery rounds have landed on the Israeli side of the de facto border, drawing limited Israeli reprisals.
Israel also has carried out several airstrikes in Syria over the past three years, primarily targeting suspected weapons shipments allegedly destined for Hezbollah militants in neighboring Lebanon.
The latest air raids, however, came after an Israeli civilian vehicle was struck by what the army says was an anti-tank missile fired from the Syrian side of the border as it drove in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. A teenage Israeli boy was killed and two other people were wounded in what was the first deadly incident along the volatile Israeli-Syrian frontier since the start of the Syrian civil war.
The Israeli vehicle was delivering water in contract work for the Defense Ministry when it was struck yesterday.