3 Syrian tanks enter Golan Heights buffer zone in breach of ceasefire agreement

Defense establishment believes move was related to infighting, but raises military alert in Golan Heights

Israel lodges complaint to UN over violation of ceasefire agreement.


Three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized buffer zone in the Golan Heights Saturday, encroaching on the decades-old ceasefire agreement between Jerusalem and Damascus.

The tanks, belonging to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army, entered Bit Ajam, close to an IDF post.

Syrian tank – Photo: Reuters

Israel lodged a complaint with the United Nations over the ceasefire agreement violation, though the defense establishment assessed that the tank movement was related to Syria’s internal conflict and not intended as an act of aggression against the Jewish state.

The IDF raised its alert level in the Golan Heights region.

In October, the IDF evacuated tourists from the top of Mount Hermon after sighting dozens of Syrians – many of them armed with guns – in civilian clothing approaching the Israeli border.

The suspects, who may have been rebels, did not infiltrate the border, and stopped their approach to the fence some 500 meters away from the international boundary.

The border with Israel has not been the only one affected by Syrian infighting. In October, Turkey’s military struck targets inside Syria in response to a mortar bomb fired from Syrian territory which killed five Turkish civilians, while Syrian forces and rebels clashed at several sites close to the Turkish border.

Reuters contributed to this report.


View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=290323