IDF destroys Syrian artillery after shells explode in Golan Heights
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IDF destroys Syrian artillery after shells explode in Golan Heights

No casualties in latest incident of spillover from clashes between Assad regime forces and rebels

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

The IDF said Saturday that it had destroyed an artillery piece belonging to Assad regime forces in Syria in response to two shells exploding in the Golan Heights

The two mortar shells, spillover from the fighting in Syria, landed on the Israeli side of the border causing no damage or injuries, in the latest such incident on the tense frontier.

“A projectile launched from Syria hit an open area in the northern Golan Heights,” an IDF statement said.

“The errant projectile is a result of internal fighting in Syria,” it added, saying that there were no reports of casualties.

A second shell landed about an hour later. Several shells have hit Israel in recent days.

Over the past week, the IDF has responded to such fire by striking Syrian army positions, including an attack last Saturday that reportedly killed two Syrian soldiers. There have been no casualties on the Israeli side in any such incident.

Israel says it holds the Assad regime responsible for all incidents originating from the war-torn country.

Rebels recently launched an offensive against government forces in Quneitra on the Syrian side of the armistice line.

During a speech on Wednesday in the city of Katzrin in the Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not tolerate any spillover from the fighting. A shell fell nearby during his visit.

“We will respond to every firing,” he said. “Whoever attacks us, we will attack him. This is our policy and we will continue with it.”

In his speech, Netanyahu vowed that “the Golan Heights will always be ours” and said Israel must continue to retain its control over the area in light of the ongoing bloodshed in Syria.

“We hold this territory fearlessly, while on the other side of the border there is chaos and tragedy.”

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and later extended its sovereignty over the area in 1981 in a move that was never recognized by the international community.

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