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Israel strikes back at Syria for stray fire landing in Golan Heights

Israeli soldiers patrol near the border with Syria after projectiles fired from the war-torn country hit Israel's Golan Heights on June 24, 2017
Jalaa MAREY (AFP)
IDF says no injuries or damage was caused and the stray fire a internal fighting in Syria

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) struck back at Syria in retaliation for stray rocket fire that landed in an open area of Israel's Golan Heights on Friday.

The army said that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck a Syrian military position from where the army assessed the rocket had been fired. It added that the mortor fire was spillover from Syria's civil war.

The Syrian army said that two of its positions in Samadaniya and on the outskirts of Albaath city, both in the Quneitara region of the Golan Heights, had been attacked. It said there were no casualties as a result of the Israeli strike.

The IDF earlier confirmed that errant rocket fire hit in an open area in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. No injuries or damage were reported.

Tensions on the northern border have escalated in recent days, with Friday's errant fire coming two days after the IDF struck back at Syria in retaliation for another stray projectile that landed in an open area of Israel's Golan Heights on Wednesday.

It was the fourth time in a week there had been stray fire across the armistice line as Syrian troops battle rebels, including hardline Islamists, on the other side.

In response to the spillover earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Israel's firm stance that "whoever attacks us, we attack them."

Israeli warplanes struck two artillery positions and an ammunition truck belonging the Syrian army on Sunday, shortly after stray projectiles that had been fired from Syria landed in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

At a similar time on Saturday, the IDF also struck Syrian regime targets, including two tanks, following the firing of over ten projectiles into Israel.

In both cases, the IDF reported that the projectiles landed in "an open area" causing no known injuries or damage and were believed to be spillover from the Syrian civil war. They also warned citizens in the north not to congregate in open areas, apparently fearing more stray rounds or a Syrian retaliation to the Israeli counter-strike.

The pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Mayadeen reported that two people were killed inside Syria on Saturday as a result of the Israeli counter-strike.

(Staff with agencies)

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