JERUSALEM, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) — Israel's military said that its Iron Dome missile defense system in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights intercepted two errant mortar shells fired during Syria's civil war on Saturday.

Stray fire from war-torn Syria frequently hit Israel but it was the first time an Iron Dome battery used to fire down a projectile.

"An additional projectile fired from Syria was intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system," a military statement said less than an hour after the system was first activated.

Israel's air force usually retaliates the stray fire with airstrikes.

Israel had repeatedly declared it would not intervene in the internal fighting in Syria.

Israel had occupied the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War and annexed the territory in 1981.