An Israeli warplane struck a Syrian army post on Friday, hours after stray fire from Syria’s civil war hit the Israeli Golan Heights, in the 16th such spillover just this week, the IDF said.
“In response to the projectile launched earlier today at Israel from Syria, an Israel Air Force aircraft targeted the Syrian army position that fired the mortar,” the English-language Israeli statement said.
“The errant projectile was a result of internal fighting in Syria.”
No one was hurt and no damage was reported in the incident. IDF forces located the shell casing near the border fence not far from Quneitra.
Rebels recently launched an offensive against government forces in Quneitra on the Syrian side of the armistice line.
During a speech on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not tolerate any spillover from the fighting.
“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.”
He was speaking at the Israeli town of Katzrin on the Golan, when a Syrian mortar shell hit further north and Israeli warplanes retaliated. He was not in any danger.
“During my speech, shells from the Syrian side landed in our territory and the Israel Defense Forces have already struck back,” he said.
Over the past week, the IDF has responded to such fire by targeting Syrian army installations, including in a strike on Saturday that reportedly killed two Syrian soldiers. Israel holds the Assad regime responsible for all incidents originating from the war-torn country.
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,” he said, according to Channel 2.
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.