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Israel fires second missile at Syria after mortar lands in Golan

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli anti-tank missile struck a Syrian military mortar crew after the Syrians fired a mortar shell that landed near an Israeli town in the Golan Heights.

Monday’s incident marked the second time that Israel has fired on Syrian territory since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The shell that landed in Israel is believed to have been aimed at rebel forces in the Syrian civil war. There were no injuries.

The Israel Defense Forces filed a complaint over the incident with the relevant United Nations forces operating in the area. The complaint said that "fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity," the IDF said in a statement.

The trading of projectiles comes a day after a mortar shell from Syria hit an Israeli military post in the Golan Heights. In Sunday’s incident, Israeli troops fired a warning shot in retaliation that reportedly was aimed at a military post in Syria.

Last week, three mortar shells fired from Syria landed in Israel; a military vehicle on patrol in the Golan was hit by Syrian fire; and three Syrian tanks rolled into the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria.

Meanwhile, a report Monday in the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan, which is associated with President Bashar Assad’s government, quoted residents of the Golan in Syria as saying they did not hear the explosion of a missile fired from Israel, apparently trying to downplay the fact that Israel fired a missile at the country, Ynet reported.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio on Sunday that Israel would respond if Syria again allowed its civil war to cross over into Israel.

"The message has certainly been relayed. To tell you confidently that no shell will fall? I cannot. If a shell falls, we will respond," Barak said.

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