Syrian Army shoots mortars into Israel

The IDF struck Syrian artillery positions in response to three mortar shells fired by the Syrian Army into the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.

IDF artillery unit

IDF artillery prepares to strike. (IDF Spokesperson)

By: Lauren Calin, World Israel News

The IDF reports that three Syrian Army mortar shells landed in the Golan Heights Tuesday without causing damage or injuries. The number of projectiles landing inside Israel has increased recently due to the growing intensity of the fighting in Syria, prompting an occasional military response.

According to the IDF, “The rockets were errant fire as a result of internal fighting in Syria. Forces are searching the area.”

After determining that the mortars were fired by the Syrian Army, the IDF retaliated by firing at two artillery targets in the center of the Syrian side of the Golan. The IDF reiterated that it holds the Syrian Army responsible for any fallout or attempted attacks originating from its territory against the State of Israel and its citizens.

Israel may need to proceed more cautiously than in the past in responding to errant Syrian fire due to Russia’s increased military presence in Syria. When Israel last responded to Syrian fire two weeks ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement saying, “We respect Israel’s interests related to the Syrian civil war but we are concerned about its attacks on Syria.” Russia and Israel are attempting to coordinate in Syria in order to avoid coming into direct conflict as Russia supports the Assad regime, which is allied with the terrorist organization, Hezbollah.

The Syrian side of the Golan has been dominated by fighting between the Assad regime and the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front since the war in Syria began in 2011. Recently, however, Hezbollah and Iran have increased their presence on the plateau. This development led the IDF in August to conduct exercises in preparation for a possible ground incursion into Syria.