After IDF retaliates for spillover, Syrian army warns Israel
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After IDF retaliates for spillover, Syrian army warns Israel

Regime says three Syrian soldiers killed, maintains it will hold Jewish state responsible for hostilities

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the Israeli-Syrian border shows smoke rising near the border in the Golan Heights, during fights between rebels and the Syrian army on June 25, 2017. (Basel Awidat/ Flash90)
A picture taken from the Israeli side of the Israeli-Syrian border shows smoke rising near the border in the Golan Heights, during fights between rebels and the Syrian army on June 25, 2017. (Basel Awidat/ Flash90)

The Syrian army on Sunday issued a warning to Israel, following two IDF retaliatory strikes on its territory in as many days for spillover fire from the war-torn country.

The regime said that three Syrian soldiers had been killed by Israeli fire.

Around 10 mortar shells from Syria struck the Golan Heights on Saturday, prompting an Israeli response that reportedly killed two Syrian soldiers. On Sunday, several more projectiles hit Israel, in what the army said was spillover fire.

The IDF on Sunday again responded to the errant fire, confirming it targeted a Syrian military vehicle. Arab media reports said five people were injured in the Israeli raid.

“The general staff of the Syrian army warns of the dangers of these aggressive actions and holds the Israeli enemy responsible for the grave consequences of these repeated actions, despite any excuse there may be,” the Ynet news site quoted the Syrian military as saying.

The Syrian general staff also published photos of at least three men it said were Syrian soldiers killed in Israeli strikes. It did not provide a date or any other information on when they were killed.

Also on Sunday, Syrian Defense Minister Fahd Jassem al-Freij visited troops in southern Syria to mark the end of the Ramadan monthlong fast where he vowed the regime would continue fighting until it conquers “every morsel of the homeland.”

In Sunday’s strike, the IDF “targeted two artillery positions and an ammunitions truck belonging to the Syrian regime,” an Israeli military statement read, noting the army had also ordered Israelis to keep away from open areas along the border near Quneitra, where internal fighting was heavy.

Archive photo: An Israeli army tank is seen stationed near the Golan Heights village of Majdal Shams, March 19, 2014. (AFP/Jalaa Marey)
Archive: An Israeli army tank is seen stationed near the Golan Heights village of Majdal Shams, March 19, 2014. (AFP/Jalaa Marey/File)

Sunday’s mortar fire was the seventh such incident in a week and came as fighting between Assad’s regime and the numerous rebel groups in southern Syria has been escalating.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned Saturday night that the regime would continue to “suffer the consequences” of any attack on Israel emanating from its territory.

Israel, he said, had “no intention of accepting challenges to our sovereignty and threats to our security, even if they are caused by ‘spillover’” from Syrian infighting.

“We will respond strongly, resolutely and with levelheadedness to any such case,” he said. “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 tried to stay out of the six-year civil war in Syria and refrained from taking sides, but has responded to spillover fire on numerous occasions.

Israel also is believed to have carried out airstrikes on suspected weapons shipments to its archenemy Hezbollah, whose fighters are in Syria backing government forces.

AP, AFP contributed to this report.

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