According to Channel 2, the IDF released a statement before the reports emerged warning that,
The reported strikes came less than a week after Hezbollah-allied terrorist Samir Kuntar was killed in an explosion in his Damascus home, which has been attributed to Israel. Kuntar’s death was followed within hours by rocket strikes from Lebanon on the northern Israeli city of Nahariya.
Israel has long warned that it would not allow any “game-changing” weapons to fall into Hezbollah’s hands as it fights alongside the Syrian regime in the country’s years-long civil war.
The leader of the Islamic State terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, issued Saturday an explicit threat against Israel, the first such indication from the organization’s head that the Jewish state was on his agenda.
In an audio recording released on social media, al-Baghdadi warned that his forces will “soon meet [the Jews] in Palestine,” Israel’s Channel 2 television reported.
The terrorist group’s elusive head added that “Israel will pay a heavy price at the hands of our fighters,” the report said.
“The leaders of the jihad fighters will surround you on a day you think is far, but we see it as close. We are coming closer to you day by day,” he concluded.
Several days beforehand, the Islamic State addressed an Israeli audience for the first time ever in a Hebrew-language video, warning that “no Jew will be left [alive]” once its fighters conquer Jordan and arrive at Israel’s borders.
“This isn’t just talk. We will advance toward you from everywhere, from the north and the south, from Sinai, from everywhere,” said a masked man in green fatigues in fluent, if slightly Arabic- and French-accented Hebrew.
The leader of the self-declared Islamic State issued a defiant message to the West, warning “crusaders” not to dare fight on his turf.
In a rare public statement - his first in seven months - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said Western countries had "learned from" previous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Crusaders and Jews don't dare to come on the ground because they were defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said in a 23-minute long audio message released through an Isil-run internet account.
The message - dubbed an "alternative Christmas broadcast" on social media - appeared to be an effort to rally Isil followers against the growing number of enemies arrayed against them.
The leader, who has rarely been pictured and has not been heard from since he was believed to have been injured in an airstrike by Iraqi forces in October, Russian or US-led airstrikes had failed to weaken the group, which was only "expanding and getting stronger".
"Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets," he said.
He also called on Saudi citizens - the second biggest contributor to Isil ranks - to "rise up" against their government as he dimissed the kingdom's newly formed Muslim coalition against the caliphate.
He also said Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) would soon be in Palestine to establish an Islamic state there. "Jews, soon you shall hear from us in Palestine which will become your grave," the voice, purporting to be Baghdadi, is heard saying.
"The Jews thought we forgot Palestine and that they had distracted us from it," he says in the recording. "Not at all, Jews. We did not forget Palestine for a moment. With the help of Allah, we will not forget it… The pioneers of the jihadist fighters will surround you on a day that you think is distant and we know is close. We are getting closer every day."
The assassination of a top Syrian rebel commander who led one of the most powerful groups battling President Bashar Assad’s forces has dealt a significant setback to the opposition that could reshuffle the lineup of key players on the ground ahead of the planned peace talks in Geneva next month.
On Saturday, the Army of Islam and allied militant groups in Syria mourned the killing of Zahran Allouch, while government supporters and the Islamic State group cheered his death — a reflection of his role in fighting both sides in the Syrian civil war.
Allouch was killed in airstrikes that targeted the group’s headquarters during a meeting on Friday. He was instantly killed along with a number of senior commanders of his Army of Islam group and those of the ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham and the Faylaq al-Rahman groups.
Allouch’s killing — a month before peace talks are scheduled to begin between the Syrian government and opposition rebel groups — is a blow to insurgents fighting to topple Assad and a boost to government forces who have been bolstered by the Russian military intervention in Syria.
Abu Hassan al-Muhajer, another senior member of Ahrar al-Sham, wrote on Twitter that the “next stage will witness the liquidation of those leaders who began the uprising” against Assad. Other insurgents, including the al-Qaeda branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, also lamented the killing.
Aron Lund, a Syria expert, said the death of Allouch, who led the Army of Islam since it was founded around four years ago, could amount to “a decapitation strike” for the group.