A day after three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone on the Golan
Heights to attack Syrian rebels, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz visited
the border region on Sunday, and warned army forces that “the Syrian affair
could turn into our affair.”
Gantz instructed the IDF to be on alert in
the area, and to prevent any spillover of the Syrian conflict onto Israeli
The chief of staff toured the border with Division 36, which
is responsible for the Golan Heights, and was told how IDF soldiers can hear
tank and automatic weapons fire from the Syrian side of the border, as well as
shouts of “Allahu Akbar.”
“Division 36 is ready for any moment in which
the shooting will change direction and will be turned on us,” IDF Spokesman
Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who accompanied Gantz, said.
The Syrian tanks
that entered the demilitarized zone on Saturday have still not left the
The IDF has called on the United Nations’ Disengagement Force on
the Golan Heights to oversee the withdrawal of the tanks.
entered Be’er Ajam, a few kilometers from an IDF position on the
Earlier on Saturday, locals near the Syrian border reported
hearing heavy exchanges of fire between the Syrian army and
Israel lodged a complaint with the United Nations over the
cease-fire violation. The defense establishment has concluded, however, that the
tank movement is linked to the Syrian civil war and not intended as an act of
aggression against Israel.