Israel strikes back as gunfire from Syria hits Golan Heights

The Israel Defense Forces has returned fire after gunshots from Syrian territory landed in the Golan Heights

by The Commentator on 24 March 2013 12:06

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Tension is mounting on the Israel-Syria border as gunfire was reported yesterday, landing in the Golan Heights, emanating from Syria.

This is not the first time such an incident has occured. Last November, the Israeli army fired back after mortar fire landed in Israeli territory. The latest incident raises concerns over whether or not the gunfire has been intentional, and as to whether jihadist elements in Syria's opposition are seeking to engage the Jewish state.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reportedly fired back into Syria after gunfire from Syrian territory struck the Israeli-controlled section of the Golan Heights twice in less than 24 hours, hitting an army jeep.

“We take the firing at IDF forces in Israeli territory very seriously,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said in an e- mailed statement. The Israeli fire hit its target, the army said in an e-mailed statement, without elaborating. Israel shelled a Syrian army position. Al-Arabiya television reported.

Despite it being unclear as to who fired into the Golan Heights, Israel holds the Assad regime responsible, with Ya'alon claiming, “The Syrian regime is responsible for every breach of sovereignty."

The news comes as reports emerge over the capturing of a long strip of territory from the Jordanian border to the Golan Heights. Syrian rebels have held the 15-mile long piece of land between the towns of Muzrib (near the Jordanian border) and Abdin (in the Golan).

A security source in Damascus told AFP this week that Jordan was allowing jihadist fighters and arms bought by Saudi Arabia from Croatia to be smuggled into Syria, a story that The Commentator led on at the end of February this year.

The source said that around 2,500 trained and heavily equipped rebels have entered Daraa in recent weeks, following reports that American instructors were training rebels in neighbouring Jordan.

Jordanian Information Minister and government spokesman Samih Maaytah said earlier this month that his country "rejects interfering in Syrian affairs."

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