The cross-border gun attack from Syria on an IDF patrol on Monday was a
deliberate attack launched by a lone Syrian soldier, and not stray fire, an army
source told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
After identifying the source
of the fire and seeing that they were being targeted on purpose, an IDF infantry
unit returned fire, striking the attacker’s position. It remains unclear if the
Syrian shooter was hit in the return fire.
The incident is not being
viewed as extraordinary by the IDF’s Northern Command, which has dealt with
similar instances since battles between the Assad regime and rebels spread have
right up to the border with Israel. However, concern remains among military
brass that such localized incidents carry the potential of escalation, and might
inadvertently turn into a wider confrontation.
The scenario remains
unlikely but decidedly possible in the chaotic conditions of Syria, and the IDF
has been drilling robust responses to any sudden deterioration sparked by
Meanwhile, in southern Syria, rebels have been
clashing with regime forces on a daily basis, as they defend a strip of villages
under their control from the army’s push to retake them. Some of the border
regions are under the control of the Syrian army.
IDF officials report
witnessing a basic pattern, in which the Syrian army gathers its forces near a
village under rebel control, prompting civilians to flee. A battle then ensues
and civilians return to their homes when it ends.
“There have been no
strategic changes here,” the army source said, adding: “This pattern has been
This week, intense fighting between Assad’s army and
rebels erupted in the Kuneitra area. On Sunday, a Syrian mortar shell crossed
into Israel and exploded near the Druse village of Majdal Shams. There were no
injuries in the incident, and the IDF did not return fire.
two soldiers were lightly injured in the area by shrapnel from a Syrian mortar.
The Syrian artillery post that fired the projectile was destroyed by the IDF
During the same month, the IDF tested a barrier being built
on the border with Syria and found it to be missile proof.
year, the army fired a Tamuz guided surface-to-surface missile at a Syrian army
post following two incidents of gunfire directed at Israeli soldiers.