JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces attacked a Syrian army position in response to a mortar shell that landed near an Israeli community in the northern Golan Heights.
The shell triggered the Code Red alert siren in communities in the northern Golan early Thursday afternoon. The IDF responded by firing a Tamuz anti-tank missile at a Syrian army post. A direct hit was confirmed, according to the IDF.
The IDF said the mortar likely was spillover from heavy fighting on the border between rebels and Syrian government forces as part of Syria’s more than three-year-long civil war.
“The IDF holds the Syrian army responsible for any rocket fire towards Israel,” it said in a statement.
Several mortars fired from Syria have struck the Golan Heights in recent days, with an IDF officer and a civilian suffering injuries.
Farmers in northern Israel have been told to stay off farmland near the border and tourist sites on the border have been closed, according to reports.
The rebels and government forces are battling for control of the Quneitra crossing between Syria and Israel.