TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Israel hits Syrian army positions

Daily Photo Galleries

By McClatchy Newspapers
Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

JERUSALEM — Israeli aircraft struck Syrian army positions early Wednesday as a result of an explosion that wounded four Israeli soldiers on the Golan Heights frontier, the military said, in the most serious flare-up of violence there since the start of Syria's 3-year-old civil war.

A Syrian army announcement said one person was killed and seven wounded in the Israeli air attacks on three sites on the outskirts of the city of Quneitra, near Israeli lines on the Golan Heights.

Israel captured the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War. After decades of calm along the frontier, the fighting in Syria occasionally has spilled over the cease-fire line, with shells and small arms fire hitting the Israeli-held Golan, sometimes drawing Israeli artillery or anti-tank rockets in response.

On Tuesday, an explosive device detonated near an Israeli patrol along the frontier near the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Israeli-held Golan, wounding four soldiers, one seriously. The Israeli army said it initially responded with artillery fire at Syrian military positions.

Early Wednesday, Israeli aircraft targeted “several Syrian army positions which aided and abetted the attack,” including a training facility, military headquarters and artillery batteries, an Israeli army statement said.

Israeli analysts said the attack on the Israeli patrol came from an area controlled by Syrian government forces and may have been the work of a pro-government militia or Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese group that has sent fighters to Syria to support the forces of President Bashar Assad.

The Israeli army said that on Friday another explosive device was set off against soldiers on the Golan Heights frontier with Lebanon, drawing retaliatory fire toward a Hezbollah target.

On March 5, a bombing attempt was foiled when troops fired at “two Hezbollah-affiliated terrorists” who were identified trying to plant an explosive device along the frontier with Syria in the northern Golan Heights, the army said.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said after Wednesday's airstrikes that “we consider the Assad regime responsible for what happens from its territory, and if it continues to cooperate with terrorist elements seeking to strike Israel, we will continue exacting a heavy price from it.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Cease-fire between Israel, Hamas lasts mere 1.5 hours in Gaza Strip
  2. Air power given bigger role in China
  3. Landslide decimates Indian village, killing at least 17
  4. Argentina slips into financial quagmire
  5. 44 killed in Gaza; Israeli soldier feared captured
  6. Brutality on video only part of the significance to Islamic State’s message
  7. Tunisia closes borders with Libya to stem tide
  8. Investigators collect remains, evidence from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 crash site in Ukraine
  9. Uganda invalidates anti-gay law
  10. Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges
  11. Thousands of Libyans flee as Islamic militants seize Benghazi, fighting rages in capital
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.