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    Syria says Israeli air raid kills 4, damages military position

    Mourners prayed over Mohammad Fahmi Krakra, 14, an Israeli killed in a missile attack that came from Syria.
    Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images
    Mourners prayed over Mohammad Fahmi Krakra, 14, an Israeli killed in a missile attack that came from Syria.

    BEIRUT — The Syrian government said Monday a series of Israeli airstrikes targeting its troops in retaliation for a deadly cross-border attack killed four people and wounded nine others.

    It said the attack was a ‘‘flagrant violation’’ of Syrian sovereignty, but in a departure from previous incidents when Israeli warplanes struck targets in Syria, the government did not vow retaliation.

    Israel’s prime minister on Monday warned the warring parties in Syria against any attempt to heat up tensions along the disputed frontier, hours after the Israeli air force carried out a string of airstrikes in Syria in response to the attack, which killed an Israeli teenager riding in a civilian vehicle.


    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would respond with even tougher force if there are further attacks.

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    ‘‘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 Syria.

    A statement issued by Syria’s Foreign Ministry said five Israeli warplanes carried out the raids, which were accompanied by mortar rounds and tank shells.

    It said four people were killed and nine others wounded, adding that the attacks extensively damaged Syrian army positions and equipment. It did not provide further details.


    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 Sunday’s violence in the Golan Heights and included a regional military command center and unspecified ‘‘launching positions.’’

    Israel has closely observed the Syrian uprising since it began in March of 2011, although it has avoided backing either side. 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. In each of the cases, the Syrian government vowed retaliation but refrained from taking action.


    The latest air raids, however, came after a civilian vehicle was struck by what the Israeli military said was a Kornet antitank missile fired from the Syria. The vehicle was 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 frontier since the start of the Syrian civil war. Sunday’s incident occurred in the area of Tel Hazeka, near the Quneitra crossing.

    Israeli police identified the boy as Mohammed Krakra, 14, of the Arab village of Arabeh in northern Israel. Local media said he had accompanied his father, the truck driver, to work.

    It was not clear whether the attack was by government troops or rebels. But Israeli officials said suspicion was focused on Syria or its Hezbollah allies, since both are known to possess Kornet missiles.