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Israel's 'Direct Hit' on Syrian Artillery

Israeli Defense Forces shows zero tolerance for Syrian spillover

- Common Dreams staff

Israeli tanks made a direct hit on Syrian artillery units on Monday in response to stray mortar spillover from the civil conflict in Syria.

Israeli tanks in firing position on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights overlooking the Syrian village of Bariqa on Monday. (Photo by Ariel Schalit / AP) A spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that the "mortar shell hit an open area in the vicinity of an Israeli army post in the central Golan Heights but caused no damage or casualties," reported the New York Times. "In response, Israeli soldiers fired tank shells toward the source of the fire, hitting Syrian mobile artillery units."

The IDF also issued a complaint to the UN which, according to a military statement, states that "fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity."

Monday's strike is the second consecutive day of fire along the Israeli-Syrian armistice line. Reuters reports:

On Sunday the military said it had a fired a guided missile into Syria in a potent "warning shot" after errant mortar fire had fallen on land that Israel seized in 1967.

“The difference is that we confirmed a direct hit this time,” an IDF spokesman said, comparing Monday’s exchange to the events on Sunday. “Yesterday it was a warning shot. Today we fired toward the source of the fire.”

Syrian opposition groups have been fighting President Bashar al-Assad's army for nineteen months in towns within and around the Area of Seperation, designated after a 1973 war, between Israel and Syria. Secretary general of the United Nations, Ban ki-Moon, issued a statement late Sunday calling for "the utmost restraint" urging Syria and Israel to respect the 1974 Disengagement Agreement "and halt firing of any kind across the ceasefire line."
 

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