MESOP NEWS Syria Daily: Israel Strikes Regime Across Border

Smoke rises from fighting in southwest Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, June 24, 2017

Israel sends deadly warning to Assad regime about operations near Golan Heights

israel responded to cross-border mortar fire on Saturday with airstrikes inside southwest Syria, reportedly killing two Assad regime troops.The Israeli Defense Forces said it responded after the mortar shells landed inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The IDF said the mortars appeared to be errant fire from Syrian factions fighting each other near the border.

The Assad regime’s military confirmed several deaths amid fighting with rebels in Quneitra Province. It initially did not say if Israel had hit military positions; however a “military source” later said that, in the “unacceptable breach” of sovereignty, “rocket fire” hit a residential building, causing a number of deaths and damage. He claimed that the Israelis were supporting the jihadist faction Jabhat al-Nusra in clashes with regime forces.

The source did not mention regime fire into the Golan Heights.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said:

We will respond strongly, resolutely and with level-headedness to any such case. As far as we are concerned the Assad regime is responsible for what occurs in its territory and will continue to suffer the consequences if such events recur.

Israel has attacked inside Syria on several occasions since the conflict began in March 2011. The Israelis have been concerned with hitting weapons supplies — both in convoys and in warehouses — for Hezbollah, and on keeping Iranian-led militias and Hezbollah forces out of the area near the Golan Heights. The IDF has also retaliated against regime cross-border fire in the past as a warning to prevent any recurrence. Israeli media, citing an “European diplomatic source”, said Israel has been warning Iran that it “will not tolerate” the ongoing armament of Hezbollah. The Israelis have sent the message via “friendly nations who also have diplomatic relations with Tehran”.

Last week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that a war with Israel could bring “hundreds of thousands of fighters from all over the Arab and Islamic world to participate – from Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan”.