Israel strikes Syria after missile attack

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A missile launched from Syria has struck southern Israel, setting off air raid sirens near the country's top-secret nuclear reactor, the Israeli military says

In response, it says it attacked the missile launcher and air-defence systems in neighbouring Syria.

The incident early on Thursday, marking the most serious violence between Israel and Syria in years, pointed to likely Iranian involvement.

Iran, which maintains troops and proxies in Syria, has accused Israel of a series of attacks on its nuclear facilities, including sabotage at its Natanz nuclear facility on April 11, and vowed revenge. It also threatened to complicate US-led attempts to revive the international nuclear deal with Iran.

The Israeli army said the missile landed in the Negev region and the air raid sirens were sounded in a village near Dimona, where Israel's nuclear reactor is located, and explosions were reported across Israel. The army later said the incoming missile had caused no damage.

Syria's state-run SANA news agency said four soldiers had been wounded in an Israeli strike near Damascus, which also caused some damage. The agency did not elaborate other than to claim its air defence intercepted "most of the enemy missiles", which it said were fired from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the missile strike or comment from Iran.

The Dimona reactor is widely believed to be the centrepiece of an undeclared nuclear weapons program. Israel neither confirms nor denies having a nuclear arsenal.

Israel and Iran are arch-enemies. Israel accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and has opposed US-led efforts to revive the international nuclear deal with Iran. With Israel's encouragement, then-president Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018.

Iran recently began enriching a small amount of uranium up to 60 per cent purity, the highest level ever for its program that edges even closer to weapons-grade levels. However, Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said Israel will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and defence officials have acknowledged preparing possible attack missions on Iranian targets.

All the incidents come as Iran negotiates in Vienna with world powers over the US potentially re-entering its tattered nuclear deal with world powers.