Published: Sun, October 22, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Israel Hits Syrian Artillery, Warns to Intensify Response

Israel Hits Syrian Artillery, Warns to Intensify Response

The Israeli army said it identified four hits from five rounds launched at the northern Golan. "In response, the IDF targeted 3 Syrian artillery cannons", the IDF Spokesperson tweeted.

Israel has sought to avoid becoming directly involved in the six-year civil war in Syria, although it has systematically responded to fire across the armistice line on the Golan. No damage or injuries were reported in Israel.

The Syrian defense ministry said the Israeli riposte had targeted one of its positions near the armistice line in Quneitra province, causing "material damage".

Another pretext Israel uses to hit Syrian site is that stray mortar shells land in the Israeli-occupied territories.

The Israeli military statement suggested it may start escalating such retaliations.

Syrian sources said that: "Israel is instructing the rebels to fire on its own territory in order to justify attacking us as a response". "This aggression comes as part of the coordination between the Israeli enemy and terror organization in Syria, which it supports [as evidenced by] dozens of times Syrian army units caught Israeli weapons and ammunition inside the lairs of the terror organizations, the last of them being in the city of Mayadin on the outskirts of Deir ez-Zor last week". Syria filed a complaint with the secretary of the United Nations over the incident.

The army, meanwhile, warned of the "dangerous repercussions" of the attack, holding Israel responsible for the "results" of the attack. The Israeli air force says it has struck arms convoys of the Syrian military and Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah almost 100 times in recent years.

Iran's military chief was in Syria this week and cautioned Israel about attacking Assad regime assets. The general signed an agreement with his Syrian counterpart to further boost military cooperation, Iranian state news agency IRNA said on Saturday. IDF artillery fired back, destroying three rocket launchers.

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