Israel fires warning shot within Syria

The following Haaretz report doesn’t make clear exactly where the latest Syrian mortar fell or the position of the IDF when it fired warning shots, but it’s reasonable to assume that both locations were in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights which legally remains part of Syria.

The Israel Defense Forces fired a warning shot at Syria on Sunday, after an errant mortar shell landed in Israeli territory. This was the first time Israel has directed weaponry at its northern neighbor since the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

The errant shell marked the fourth time in just over a week that the infighting from Syria has spilled into Israel.

An Israeli security source said the military fired in the direction of a Syrian army mortar crew that had launched a shell which overshot the Golan disengagement fence on Sunday, exploding near a northern Israeli community without causing casualties.

In a statement, the Israeli military said soldiers had “fired warning shots towards Syrian areas”.

“The IDF has filed a complaint through 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,” the statement said.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak earlier Sunday warned that Israel would respond should stray Syrian ordnance continue to strike the Golan Heights, highlighting international concerns that the civil war in Syria could ignite a wider regional conflict.

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