Amid Golan tensions, US stresses Israel has legitimate right to self-defense

State Department warns against escalation of situation after IAF strike in retaliation for rockets launch into Golan from Syria.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
January 28, 2015 09:30
1 minute read.
Jen Psaki

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The United States warned against an escalation of tensions between Israel and Syria, following an IAF strike on Syria army positions late Tuesday in retaliation for projectiles launched at the Israeli Golan Heights earlier in the day.

However, the State Department highlighted its backing for Israel to operate in a manner of self-defense.

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In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters US officials "do not want to see an escalation of the situation."

Psaki said the United States calls "upon all parties to avoid any action that would jeopardize the long-held cease-fire between Israel and Syria."

"We support Israel's legitimate right to self-defense and have been clear about our concerns over the regional instability caused by the crisis in Syria," Psaki added.

The IDF confirmed that the Israel Air Force (IAF) had accurately struck targets in areas under the control of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, at least two rockets from Syria hit the Golan Heights and Israel responded with artillery fire. That incident forced Israel to evacuate the Mt. Hermon ski resort on the Golan Heights, although a resort official said it had reopened for business on Wednesday.



There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire into Israeli territory, and no casualties were reported.

Tuesday's strike came amid rising frontier tension 10 days after a purported Israeli air strike in Syria killed an Iranian general and several Lebanese Hezbollah operatives.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.


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