IDF targets source of cross-border fire from Syria

After 2 incidences of cross-border fire from Syria on Tuesday evening, IDF tanks target the source.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited the borders with Syria & Lebanon earlier on Tuesday saying, ‘We will respond to all fire from Syria’.

By Danny Brenner and Lilach Shoval


Israel was struck twice on Tuesday by cross-border fire from Syria. In the first incident, a mortal shell exploded in the Tel Fares area of the Golan Heights on Tuesday evening. Shortly afterward, Israeli soldiers near the Tel Hazeka military post came under fire from Syria. There were no injuries or damage in either incident.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon looks into Syria during a visit to the Golan Heights on Tuesday. – Photo: JINI

The Israel Defense Forces responded with tank fire targeting the source. A direct hit on the target was confirmed, the IDF said.

The IDF informed U.N. forces stationed in the border area about the exchange of fire.

There have been several incidents of cross-border fire from Syria in recent weeks and the IDF has responded by targeting the sources on several occasions.

“After quiet during the holiday [Passover], there was mortar and machine gun fire toward a patrol along the border fence,” IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said on Wednesday. “In response, the IDF used precision tank fire to strike a building in the town of Beer Ajam and hit the shooting squad that had fired at the patrol.”

“Despite the fire, we don’t think there has been a significant change in the sector, ” Mordechai said. “We are not a party to what is happening there [in Syria], but we must see that our interests are not harmed.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Wednesday that Israel would not permit cross-border fire from Syria, whether intentional or not, to become routine.

“The moment we identify the source of the fire, we’ll destroy it without hesitation, as we did last night and as happened in previous cases,” Ya’alon said. “From our perspective, the Syrian regime is responsible for what goes on in its territory and we won’t permit a situation in which there is fire into Israel that goes without a response.”

Ya’alon had toured the Tel Hazeka military post on Tuesday as part of his first visit to the northern sector as defense minister. Ya’alon visited several military posts in northern Israel and viewed Israeli troops deployed along the borders with Syria and Lebanon. Ya’alon also received briefings from GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Yair Golan and other senior IDF officers.

The Tel Hazeka military post, located near Alonei Habashan, has come under errant mortar fire several times recently, during fighting between Syrian military and rebel forces in the nearby town of Beer Ajam just across the border.

After concluding his visit on Tuesday, Ya’alon said, “I came to tour the Golan Heights to observe from up close the developments across the border, where a bloody civil war has been taking place for two years. Recently, thousands of people have been getting killed each month in that war, but we don’t intervene when our interests are not harmed. When our interests are harmed, whether it is sporadic fire or fire aimed at our territory, we respond to silence the source of the fire, as occurred last week [in a previous cross-border exchange of fire].”

IDF tanks on the Golan Heights. – Photo: JINI

“An additional interest we have is to prevent the leakage of weapons that could threaten us in the future to irresponsible organizations, like Hezbollah in Lebanon or terror groups operating in Syria. We’ve acted against this in the past and we’ll act in the future to prevent to prevent these types of weapons from reaching irresponsible entities.”

“As you see here, the Golan Heights is quiet and the IDF is operating to ensure that the Golan Heights will remain quiet, that residents of the Golan will be able to live and flourish and that Israelis can visit here in droves to enjoy the beautiful views in the Golan. The same is true on the border with Lebanon, where the IDF is also operating to maintain quiet, enabling residents to live and the people of Israel to enjoy the views in the Galilee.”

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