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Israel strikes targets in Syria after mortars land in Golan Heights

Two Israeli-Druze women look from the Israeli side at the Israel-Syria ceasefire line in the Golan Heights at smoke rising where clashes appeared between Syrian rebels and forces loyal to the regime near the Quneitra crossing June, 2013
AFP/Ahmad Gharabli
Since the start of the Syrian conflict, projectiles have exploded periodically inside Israeli territory

The Israeli military said on Friday that it had hit targets in Syria in response to three projectiles that landed in the Israeli Golan Heights earlier, in what the army said was likely stray fire from Syria's civil war. There were no injuries or damage.

A mortar landed in an open area in the northern area of Israel, followed about an hour later by two additional projectiles, which triggered rocket alert sirens.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah have been clashing with rebels not far from the Golan Heights.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict, projectiles have exploded periodically inside Israeli territory, causing damage but no injuries.

While most were presumed to be stray shots, Israel has accused Syria of aiming at Israeli targets on several occasions, briefly returning fire.

The IDF has said that it holds the Syrian regime, led by President Bashar al-Assad, responsible for any aggression coming from its territory.

Tensions between Syria and Israel escalated last month, with Israel allegedly carrying out multiple strikes, targeting Syrian military outposts and a Hezbollah convoy believed to be carrying weapons.

Israel confirmed its involvement in only one of the strikes, after the Syrian regime fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli jets, triggering warning sirens in Israel's Jordan valley region.

In a rare statement on the matter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israel's right to protect itself from the transfer of advanced weapons to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

"Our policy is very consistent," Netanyahu said. "When we detect attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, and we have the intelligence and feasibility to carry out an operation, we will work to prevent it."

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