Lebanese sources report that three Syrian soldiers were killed as Israel Air Force jets bombed a radar station in retaliation against a mortar attack by Hezbollah on Har Dov, on the border between Israel and Lebanon. One Israeli soldier was killed in the mortar attack.
The Israeli jets bombed a Syrian base in eastern Lebanon before dawn on Sunday.
The Lebanese sources add that six other Syrian soldiers were wounded in the attack.
A diplomatic source in Jerusalem said that the attack was meant to signal to Lebanon's ally Syria that Israel could no longer persist with its non-response to attack. A military source told
that Israel hopes Syria will reach the requisite conclusions and begin to restrain Hezbollah.
According to reports from Lebanon, antiaircraft fire was directed at the Israeli jets during the attack. All the jets returned to base safely.
The target of the attack was Syrian radar installations at Dahar al-Baida, north of the Damascus-Beirut road.
Monday's strike was the first against Syrian forces since 1996 when Israeli planes fired at anti-aircraft machineguns in Beirut, killing one Syrian soldier and seriously wounding seven others, Reuters reports.
Israel's security cabinet convened before the attack to discuss retaliation against the escalating hostilities on the northern border with Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories. Labor members Shimon Peres and Ephraim Sneh objected to the attack, but the other 11 members of the cabinet supported the idea.