Israel and Syria Exchange Warnings

Tensions between Israel and Syria ratcheted up over the weekend after Syrian mortars landed in the Golan Heights, and Israel fired back on Syrian tanks. At least two Syrian soldiers were reported killed, prompting a Syrian warning to Israel.

The General Command of the Syrian Army warned Israel overnight Sunday against what it described as aggression for the IDF’s reprisal attacks meted out following the spillovers from the country, adding that it holds “the Israeli enemy responsible for the dangerous consequences of the recurrence of these operations.”

After the first mortars hit Israel, Israel also warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Israel sees him as responsible for any “spillover” from the fighting between Syrian government troops and rebel groups. Israel has repeatedly said it wants to stay out of the war in Syria, but has treated about 3,000 wounded Syrians in Israeli hospitals. As most of these patients are members of rebel groups opposing Assad, he has accused Israel of supporting rebel groups.

Israel will not accept any fire into its territory even if it is accidental, said a senior Israeli counter-terrorism official said.

“We are not going to give up the great advantages of a very quiet border along the Golan Heights,” Brigadier General (res) Nitzan Nuriel told The Media Line. “We don’t want that border open to terror events or instability. The Israelis living there deserve a quiet summer and we won’t let anyone – Islamic State, Syrian forces, Jabha al-Nusra, Hizbullah or Iran to launch an attack on us whether purposely or by accident.”


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