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Mortar shell fired from Syria hits Israeli side of Golan

No injuries reported as rebel, Syrian Army forces said to battle in and around demilitarized zone

A large fire raging near Kfar Sold, caused by missiles fired from the Syrian side of the Israeli-Syrian border and hitting open areas in the Golan Heights in northern Israel on August 20, 2015. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
A large fire raging near Kfar Sold, caused by missiles fired from the Syrian side of the Israeli-Syrian border and hitting open areas in the Golan Heights in northern Israel on August 20, 2015. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

A mortar shell fired from Syria hit an open area in the central Golan Heights on Sunday, the IDF said. No injuries were reported in the incident, but the mortar damaged a roadway.

Syrian opposition media reports around the time of the incident said forces in Tel al-Sha’ar, a village near the demilitarized zone separating Syria and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, fired artillery at troops in Hamidiyah, a village in the DMZ. A report posted on Twitter by the Step News Agency wasn’t clear about which force was responsible for the fire. Clashes were also reported in the nearby village of Jubata al-Hashab.

Israel frequently retaliates against stray fire from Syria that strikes the Golan Heights. Last month a mortar round hit a minefield in the Israeli Golan, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF targeted a Syrian Army target on the opposite side of the DMZ.

The Syrian Golan has been the site of intense fighting in recent years between Assad regime forces and the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate.

More recently, the area has seen burgeoning activity by Hezbollah and Iran’s al-Quds Force aimed at opening a new potential front against Israel in any future conflict.

A number of mortars have landed in Israeli territory as a result of spillover fighting over the last several years, raising fears among residents near the border.

Israel maintains a policy of holding Damascus responsible for all fire from Syria into Israel regardless of the source of the fire.

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