Israel fires missile into Syria

The Israeli military has said it has fired into Syria in response to violence again spilling into Israeli-held Golan. Despite warnings, another errant mortar shell from Syria landed in the Golan Heights today.

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Israeli tanks destroy Syrian armoured vehicle

Israeli tanks stand in position overlooking a Syrian village from the Israeli occupied Golan Heights
Israeli tanks stand in position overlooking a Syrian village from the Israeli occupied Golan Heights Credit: Reuters

Israel has destroyed a Syrian armoured vehicle in retaliation after a mortar shell landed on its territory.

The "direct hit" is the second in two days, and has increased fears that Israel could be drawn into the civil war next door.

The Israeli military had thought the mortar fire on its territory was a spillover from the intense fighting between President Assad's army and rebel forces trying to oust him, and not an overt attempt to hit the Jewish state. An Israeli official said:

"We thought it was spillover, but today we're not sure."

Israel hits Syrian artillery that fired on Golan

Syrian mobile artillery was directly hit when Israel's army fired tank shells in response to mortar shells landing in Golan, Israeli military sources have said.

There was no immediate word on whether it had been in the hands of Syrian army forces or the rebels they are battling.

A short while ago, a mortar shell hit an open area in the vicinity of an (Israeli Defense Forces) post in the central Golan Heights, as part of the internal conflict inside Syria, causing no damage or injuries.

In response, IDF soldiers fired tank shells towards the source of the fire, confirming direct hits. The IDF has filed a complaint with 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.

– Israeli military statement

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Israel fires on Syria for first time since 1973

by - Diplomatic Correspondent

Israel has fired on Syrian forces for the first time in nearly four decades after a mortar round from Syria hit an Israeli post in the Golan Heights.

Israel has also responded with air strikes on its southern border following mortar and rocket fire from Gaza.

This is a dramatic illustration of how Israel might be drawn into the Syrian civil war. It is the first time Israeli forces have fired into Syria since the Yom Kippur of 1973. And this was not just rifle shots the Israelis fired, it was a guided anti-tank missile.

They say that it was in warning, and was directed towards a Syrian army mortar crew, who presumably were taking on Syrian rebels and over shot their target, and instead hit an Israeli military post within the occupied Golan Heights.

In the past week or so, there have been stray bullets coming across that border. At one time, three Syrian tanks drove into what should be a demilitarised zone. Israeli's say that they do not think they are being deliberately provoked, that all this is accidental.

They are desperate to stay out of the Syrian conflict, surrounded as they are by a sea of other troubles, particularly tonight on their southern border with Gaza.

This could get more serious. That border, over this weekend alone, has seen more than 80 rockets fired by Palestinian militants. Four Israeli soldiers were injured, six Palestinians were killed.

Neither side are looking for all out conflict though. But it only really takes one stray missile to do a lot of damage to a civilian target, and I think then the Israeli government might find it very hard to hold back.

Israeli military: 'Missile was a warning shot to Syria'

Israeli military have responded to a mortar shell attack by Syrian forces near the border in the Golan Heights, said an army spokeswoman. Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich said:

We answered with a warning shot toward Syrian areas. We understand this was a mistake and was not meant to target Israel and then that is why we fired a warning shot in retaliation.

The Israeli military also said it has filed a complaint through United Nations forces operating in the area, stating that "fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity".

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Israel calls on UN after Syrian tanks 'enter border area'

An explosion in the Syrian village of Bariqa close to the border of Israel
An explosion in the Syrian village of Bariqa close to the border of Israel Credit: Reuters

Israel has asked the UN Security Council to act on a "dangerous escalation" by Syria, after Syrian tanks crossed into a demilitarized zone along their border.

Three tanks entered the strategically significant area of Golan Heights on Saturday. Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, said they remained in the area on Monday.

Local media in Israel is reporting an army jeep was struck by Syrian gunfire. In a letter to the UN Security Council Ambassador Prosor said:

"The international community and the Security Council should address this alarming development without delay to prevent further escalation."

Assad's inner circle targeted in Damascus explosions

A car bomb in the Al Mazzeh district of Damascus
A car bomb in the Al Mazzeh district of Damascus Credit: APTN

A number of explosions hit an area of Damascus housing members of Syrian President Assad's inner circle today, killing at least ten people and injuring thirty, according to state television.

Car and mortar bombs struck the north west of the city, a district populated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shite Islam that President Bashar and his sect belong to.

Syrian state news said gunmen assassinated Mohammed Osama al-Laham, brother of the speaker of parliament.

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