Israel Strikes Target in Syria in Response to Spillover Fire

Attack comes one day after Iran's military chief warned against Israeli incursions into Syria ■ Reports: Syrian artillery targeted ■ Netanyahu: We won't accept spillover

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Smoke rises on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, June 2017.
Smoke rises on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, June 2017.Credit: Gil Eliyahu

The Israeli military struck targets in Syria after errant fire from the war raging there hit the Israeli Golan Heights, a military spokesperson said on Thursday, a day after Iran's military chief warned against Israeli incursions in Syria.

Local reports said that Israel struck a Syrian artillery position near border town of Quneitra.

Earlier, a projectile fell in an open area in the northern Israeli Golan Heights as a result of the Syrian civil war. The incident caused neither casualties nor damage. On Wednesday, two rocket-alert sirens were sounded in the Golan Heights in response to internal fighting in Syria.

Iran's military chief Mohammad Baqeri on Wednesday pledged to fight Israel and Sunni insurgents during a visit to Damascus, and discussed ways to deepen cooperation with the Syrian military. "It is not acceptable for the Zionist regime to violate Syria anytime it wants," Baqeri said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the strike that Israel will not tolerate spillover from Syria. "We have a clear policy," the prime minister said during a speech at a ceremony marking 50 years of Israeli settlement in the Jordan Valley. "We will attack anyone who attacks us. We won't accept spillover. If they attack us, we return fire. And it doesn't take much time."

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that "any violation of the sovereignty of the State of Israel will be met with a determined response, just as the IDF acted a short while ago." Lieberman, who is currently visiting in Washington, D.C., added that Israel views the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad as "responsible for everything that is happening in its territory," and suggested "not to test our patience and red lines."

This is the second time Israel has stuck Syria this week. Baqeri's comments came following an Israeli strike on Monday, in which the air force attacked an anti-aircraft battery east of Damascus after it fired a missile targeting Israel Air Force planes.

The Syrian military warned of "dangerous consequences" following the rare strike, and claimed that they had successfuly hit an Israeli jet.

"The Israel Defense Forces will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of Israel and the safety of its citizens and views the Syrian regime as responsible for what transpires in its territory," the Israeli army said.

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