Israeli defense chief: We’ll hit back against attacks from Syria


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s defense minister said his military will respond to cross border artillery fire from Syria and efforts to incite terrorism.

“Those who cross the red lines will be hit,” Moshe Yaalon said Tuesday in the wake of reports that Israeli jets fired on Hezbollah targets in Syria near the Lebanese border.

It was the first reported Israeli attack on Syria since Russia sent air support to soldiers fighting for the government of Syria led by President Bashar Assad.

Israel does not comment on accusations of such attacks. It has been accused of hitting targets in Syria in the past, usually weapons shipments making their way to Hezbollah or Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Syrian rockets also have struck Israel’s side of the Golan Heights in recent months, though most have been chalked up to errant rocket fire from Syria’s more than four-year civil war.

In September, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss the security threats to Israel from Syria. At the meeting, the two leaders agreed to coordinate between the Israeli and Russian militaries in order to avoid conflicts over Syria.

Yaalon also said Tuesday that Israeli Air Force fighter pilots recently trained with their counterparts from Jordan in a joint exercise in the United States called Red Flag, Reuters reported.

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