Israeli retaliatory missile slams Syrian military post


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli missile destroyed a Syrian military post in response to fire on Israeli troops in the Golan Heights.

The missile fired Sunday by the Israel Defense Forces reportedly injured two Syrian soldiers. On Saturday night, Syrian gunfire damaged an Israeli army jeep.

Israeli soldiers also came under fire on Sunday morning. No Israeli soldiers were injured in the attacks.

It was unclear whether the bullets fired into Israeli territory had gone astray as part of Syria’s civil war, or if they were fired intentionally at Israeli troops.

"We take the firing of bullets at IDF forces in Israeli territory very seriously," Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a statement. "In response the IDF returned fire in line with the government policy: Any violation of Israeli sovereignty and fire from the Syrian side will be answered with the silencing of the source of fire.

"The Syrian regime is responsible for every breach of sovereignty. We will not allow the Syrian army or any other groups to violate Israel’s sovereignty in any way."

It is not the first time that gunfire from Syria has struck Israeli targets in recent months. In some cases, Israel has retaliated.

Israel also has cared for injured Syrian rebels in at least two instances in recent weeks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday night in a Facebook post that some of his motivation in apologizing to Turkey on March 22 for the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010 was because of the threat from Syria as its civil war continues to escalate.  

"It’s important that Turkey and Israel, which both share a border with Syria, are able to communicate with each other, and this is also relevant to other regional challenges. In addition, the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Kerry created an opportunity to end the crisis," Netanyahu wrote.

"Syria is crumbling, and its massive stockpiles of advanced weapons are starting to fall into the hands of various elements. What we fear most is that terrorist groups will get their hands on chemical weapons."

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