Israel fires on Syria after mortar hits military post


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel fired warning shots at Syria after a mortar shell from Syria hit an Israeli military post in the Golan Heights.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said the shots fired Sunday — reportedly the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War that Israel fired missiles into Syrian territory — were at "Syrian areas." Israeli reports said they were at a military post in Syria.

The Syrian mortar was not targeting Israel but was fired "as part of the internal conflict inside Syria," the IDF acknowledged in a statement.

In a complaint filed with the relevant United Nations forces operating in the area, according to the IDF,  "Fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity."

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. 

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio on Sunday before the most recent incident 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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