Israeli Air Force Hits Syria After Mortar Fire

The Israeli air force attacked Syria early Thursday after mortar fire from the Syrian civil war spilled over into Israel, hitting the Golan Heights on Wednesday.

There were no injuries or damage reported but the Israeli fire was seen as a warning to Syria to pay careful attention that mortar fire not hit the Golan Heights, which Israel acquired from Syria in the 1967 war and later annexed.

The Israeli jets hit a Syrian artillery position located across the border in the northern Syrian Golan Heights. Israeli officials have repeatedly said that they see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as responsible for any shooting, intentional or accidental, from Syria territory into Israel. It is the second time in the past week that mortars have landed in the Golan Heights, one of Israel’s top tourist destinations. Some in Syria have accused Israel of helping rebel groups, as Israel has offered emergency medical care to hundreds of wounded Syrian fighters and civilians, most of them from rebel groups.

Israel has said the fighting in Syria is an internal issue, and Israel’s only concern is that it not spill over into Israel. Privately, some Israeli officials have said they prefer that Bashar al-Assad stay in power.

The border between Israel and Syria has been the quietest border since the end of the Yom Kippur war in 1973.


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