An IDF tank fired a warning shell near Syrian forces on Saturday after identifying a Syrian army-built outpost in the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel, contrary to ceasefire agreements. According to the IDF, the outpost was located close to the Druse village of Hader on the Syrian-controlled side of the Golan Heights. Earlier this month, following intense fighting in the village, the IDF said it was willing to provide assistance and prevent the capture of the Druse village by anti-regime forces.“The IDF is ready and prepared to assist the residents of the village, and will prevent the harming or conquering of the village of Hader because of our deep commitment to the Druse population,” said IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Northern Command commander Maj.- Gen. Yoel Strick and Commander of the Bashan Division Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Ashur were said to be assessing the situation on Israel's northern border.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a statement on his Facebook page reading: “We guard our borders in the North and the South and maintain our support for our Druse brethren.”Following the deadly attacks, hundreds of Druse residents of Israel gathered at the border to support their relatives on the Syrian side. A group of Druse men briefly pushed through the security fence, breaching the border, and crossed into Syrian territory before being pursued and corralled back. The situation was then under control.Last week, an Israel Air Force Patriot missile intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle that approached the Golan Heights border.The remains of the UAV, which is believed to have been gathering intelligence for the Syrian regime, fell over the demilitarized zone on the northern Golan Heights.Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel views any violation of its sovereignty with “great severity,” and reiterated that it would respond to any provocation with force.Udi Shaham and Anna Ahronheim contributed to this article.
New conflicts threaten Syria after Islamic State defeat (credit: REUTERS)