Conflict & Justice

Israel hits Syrian target, say Israeli military


Israeli soldiers stand gurad in Alonei Habashan in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, on Nov. 11, 2012. Israeli troops fired warning shots into Syria in response to mortar fire. It was the first Israeli fire directed at the Syrian military in the Golan Heights area since the 1973 war. On Monday Israeli officials reported a 'direct' hit on Syrian targets.


Jalaa Marey

Israel reported a "direct hit" on Syrian targets Monday, after it fired warning shots Sunday into its northern neighbor, responding to shells that landed in the Golan Heights. It's the second time in two days the states have exchanged fire.

"A short while ago, a mortar shell hit an open area in the vicinity of an (Israeli Defense Forces) post in the central Golan Heights, as part of the internal conflict inside Syria, causing no damage or injuries," the Israeli military said in a statement.

"In response, IDF soldiers fired tank shells towards the source of the fire, confirming direct hits. The IDF has filed a complaint with the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity."

Israel said "Syrian mobile artillery" was hit, according to the Associated Press. There are no reports of Syrian casualties.

Before Monday's attack, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, said Israel understood the Syrian mortar was errant fire.

"We understand this was a mistake and was not meant to target Israel, and then that is why we fired a warning shot in retaliation," she said

It's not the first time Syria's civil war between rebel forces and the regime of President Bashar al Assad spilled over into neighboring countries. The war has destabilized borders with Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

Last week, 3 Syrian tanks rolled into the Golan Height's demilitarized zone, reportedly chasing Free Syrian Army forces, according to Examiner.

The Jerusalem Post points out Sunday was the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War that the two states exchanged fire. According to Reuters, the countries are technically still at war.

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