Middle East

Israel hits Syria targets after stray fire on Golan

Israeli soldiers gather at the site of an accidental grenade explosion near the village of Majdal Shams in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on July 17, 2016. Two Israeli soldiers were killed, and three others injured by the accidental explosion at the entrance of a military position on the Golan Heights, north-east of the country, according to a statement from the Israeli army. / AFP / JALAA MAREY

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: The Israeli air force struck a target in Syria Monday in response to stray fire from its war-wracked neighbor that hit the disputed Golan Heights, an army statement said.

The army said a mortar round hit an uninhabited area near a security barrier along the demarcation line in the centre of the strategic plateau.

"Initial reports suggest that... fire from the internal fighting in Syria hit an open area near the security fence in the central Golan Heights. No injuries have been reported," the statement said.

The air force "successfully targeted the source of the fire in Syria", it said, warning that it holds the Damascus government responsible for any fire that hits Israel.

On July 4, the Israeli army said it had attacked two Syrian targets on the Golan after stray fire damaged the security fence.

And on July 17, Israeli said its military fired two Patriot missiles at a drone that infiltrated from Syria.

Israel has sought to avoid being drawn into Syria's complex war which is now in its sixth year, but it has attacked Syrian military targets when fire from the conflict spills over.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.





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