Israel says scored "direct hits" on Syrian targets
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The Israeli military says it scored "direct hits" on targets in Syria after responding to stray mortar fire from its northern neighbor.
The military says that Israeli tanks opened fire on targets in Syria on Monday after the mortar round landed in an open area in the Israeli-occupied, Syrian Golan Heights. According to Israeli television Channel 2, an undetermined number of Syrian soldiers were injured in the attack.
Although the Golan Heights are internationally recognized as Syrian territory, the 1,200 square kilometers have been occupied by Israel since the 1967 war.
Israeli military officials say "Syrian mobile artillery" was hit. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity under military guidelines, gave no further details.
The incident marked the second straight day that Israel has responded to fire from Syria. Israel’s army fired into Syria on Sunday in what it described as a “warning,” after stray munitions from fighting between the Syrian army and rebels hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The mortars are believed to be coming from fighting in Syria's civil war, and Israel says the shells do not appear to be aimed at Israeli targets. Nonetheless, Israel has promised a tough response if the fire continues.
These incidents have been described by Israel Radio as the first direct engagement of the Syrian military on the Golan since the 1973 war, and have intensified fears that Syria's civil war could ignite wider regional conflict.
(AP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)