IDF strikes Syrian regime post after mortar lands in buffer zone

Military says errant shell was fired during offensive against rebels.

By
July 6, 2018 15:33
2 minute read.
syria israel

A Jewish man observes Syria from an Israeli army post guarded by UN peacekeepers (L) on Mount Bental in the Golan Heights. (photo credit: THOMAS COEX / AFP)

 
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The IDF struck a Syrian army post that was the source of a mortar attack that landed within the Israeli-Syrian demilitarized zone, stated IDF spokesperson this Friday.

The IDF stated that the mortar, which landed adjacent to and east of the security fence, was due to the fighting between the Syrian army and rebel groups in the area.  The military emphasized that the IDF does not engage in the Syrian civil war but is determined to maintain the 1974 disengagement agreements with Syria which clearly state a demilitarized zone between the two countries.

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A commander in the regional alliance that backs Damascus told Reuters the strike on a hill in Khan Arnabeh village in Quneitra province did not cause casualties.

Errant projectiles have occasionally landed in northern Israel throughout Syria's eight-year long civil war, leading the IDF to retaliate against Syrian army positions.

The Syrian army backed by Iranian Shiite militias and Hezbollah have been pushing forwards with a ferocious offensive pummeling the southwestern provinces of Dara’a and Quinetra with the aim of recapturing the strategic areas bordering Jordan and the Golan Heights from rebels.

The IDF is preparing for the possibility that due to the offensive, the Syrian army along with Iranian, Hezbollah and Shiite proxy troops taking part will not respect the 1974 Separation Agreement which, as part of the overall armistice that ended the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Israel has insisted that it would not allow Iran or any Shiite proxies to establish a permanent presence in Syria, and has publicly admitted to carrying out airstrikes against Iranian military targets in the war-torn country which has intensified in the last year.



“We have a Separation of Forces Agreement with Syria from 1974,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated earlier this week. “This is the guiding principle. We will adhere to it very strictly and so must others, everyone.”

On Wednesday IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.Gadi Eisenkot along with IDF Operations Division's head Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, Planning Division Maj. Gen. Amir Abulafia and the Research Division's head Brig. Gen. Dror Shalom received a briefing during a visit to the 366th Division in the Golan Heights.

During the visit to Israel’s northern border Eisenkot also discussed the readiness of the Northern Command with its commander Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick and the 366th Division's commander Brig. Gen. Amit Fisher.

“The IDF is monitoring the situation in Syria and is prepared for a variety of scenarios to preserve the security on Israel's border,” read a statement given by the IDF's Spokesperson's Unit.

On Sunday armored and artillery forces were deployed to reinforce troops on the Golan Heights near the border with Syria in light of a situational assessment by the Northern Command.


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