Syria and Israel exchange fire in Golan Heights; three Syrian soldiers killed

Syria and Israel exchange fire in Golan Heights; three Syrian soldiers killed

Damascus : Syria | Nov 18, 2012 at 10:26 AM PST
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An undisclosed number of rounds fell on the Golan Heights, Israel's military said

The Israeli army said Sunday that Israeli artillery fired into Syria after gunfire from Syria hit an army jeep, but no injuries were reported.

"Soldiers responded with artillery fire to the source of the shooting and the (Israeli army) has reported the incident to UN officials," a military spokeswoman said.

The UN has a peacekeeper force in the area monitoring a cease-fire, in place since the 1970s.

Last Sunday, the Israeli army fired a warning shot towards Syria after a shell, fired from that country, fell on a military outpost in Golan. It was the first time that Israel fired into Syria since the 1973 war.

Earlier, Israel's Haaretz daily website said that Israel had warned Assad to prevent from violence spilling over, as Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak warned that Israel would respond if Syria continued to fire into Golan, stressing that international concerns about civil war in Syria could trigger a regional conflict. According to the Israeli newspaper, the strike is part of an evolution of the Israel's attitude towards the Syrian conflict.

Shortly before, according to Syrian media, three Syrian soldiers had been targeted, which led to their immediate deaths.

Israel occupied the Golan area in the 1967 war. At the request of a member of the Knesset, Jala Cohen, on December 14, 1981, Israel annexed the territory in a move never recognized internationally, even by Israeli's faithfull allies.

In Syria, Free Syrian fighters seized control of the agricultural airport of Hamdan, in Deir Ezzor, on the border with Iraq, activists monitoring the conflict said.

According to the report, regime forces has been using the airport as a base for helicopter gunships. The Free Syrian fighters also seized several tanks and mortars the regime forces had stored there.

On it's part the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that, at least 66 people were killed across the country, on Saturday, including 41 civilians, 24 Free Syrian fighters and one regime soldier.

In Damascus, SANA news reported that terrorists have fired mortar shells into an upmarket Damascus neighborhood, which contains diplomatic residences.

The agency did not mention the name of the district. However, sources from the Free Syrian Army confirmed that, the Mezze district was targeted with several shells. This was intended to hit a number of Syrian military commanders, who were meeting in one of the houses. They probably were injured, according to the source.


The strange thing is that the Syrian army had vowed hours before the clashes not to repeat the fire on the Israeli side again, but the question is, what forced the Syrian army to repeat the fire on Israel? Why did Israel respond with all this violence that led to the deaths of three Syrian soldiers? Are there really members of the Free Syrian Army over there?

According to my own opinion, the Syrian regime is serious in exporting its crisis to the border with Israel, after failing to export it to Lebanon or Jordan. I am following this event both in English and in Arabic, and I noticed a strange thing: There was no statement issued by the leadership of the Syrian army explaining what happened or even mourning the three dead soldiers from the Syrian army.

There are many possibilities in my mind. Ine is that the Syrian regime wanted to heat up the front with Israel, taking advantage of what is happening in Gaza, as the Israeli army is busy in its war with the Palestinian resistance. What supports this possibility is that the Syrian regime is unable to face the Syrian opposition, which started, even tardily, to obtain the recognition of the international community.

Another possibility is that the regime encourages Iran and perhaps shares its interest, together with Hezbollah, in carrying out a war on Israel so as to liberate the occupied Golan. The interest here will be for the Syrian regime and Tehran, which is facing the constant threats byIsrael to attack its nuclear reactors.

Moreover, the other possibility is that Assad wants to prove to the international community that he was honest when he threatened that any attempt to remove the Syrian regime will spread the war in the entire region.

Of all Syria's neighbors, a war with Israel would represent a lifeline to Assad's regime, since action against Israel would have wide support among many other countries in the region.. Many political analysts and Free Syrian Army commanders warned of this several times.

I think we have to wait for further developments. At the same time, Turkey should seriously interfere and put pressure on NATO and the United States to take military action in order to save the Syrian people from the folly of the regime, which would start a war with Israel only to achieve media success. If this happens, the death toll will rise to thousands among innocent Syrian people.


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Syria and Israel exchange fire in Golan Heights; 3 Syrian soldiers killed therein
An Israeli soldier overlooks a tank relocation in Alonei Habashan in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israeli troops fired warning shots into Syria in response to mortar fire, the army said, in the first Israeli fire directed at the Syrian military in the Golan Heights area since the 1973 war. AFP
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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