Syria reports Israeli shell fired at town across Golan Heights border
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Syria reports Israeli shell fired at town across Golan Heights border

State media says no damage or injuries caused, no comment from IDF; last month army shelled nearby town, with PM saying strike targeted Iranian entrenchment efforts

A picture taken on July 26, 2018, near Kibbutz Ein Zivan in the Israeli Golan Heights, shows smoke rising above buildings across the border in Syria during air strikes backing a government-led offensive in the southern province of Quneitra. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)
A picture taken on July 26, 2018, near Kibbutz Ein Zivan in the Israeli Golan Heights, shows smoke rising above buildings across the border in Syria during air strikes backing a government-led offensive in the southern province of Quneitra. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Israeli forces fired a single shell at the Syrian village of Khader just across the Golan Heights border late Sunday,  Syrian state media reported.

According to the state-run SANA news agency, the shell did not cause any injuries or damage. It was not immediately clear what the target was and the IDF had no comment.

Last month Syrian state media reported that Israel had shelled targets in the nearby deserted Syrian city of Quneitra.

While Israel did not comment on the strike at the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the incident the next day, saying that: “We are working all the time to block Iran. We operate every day, including yesterday, against Iran and its efforts to entrench itself in the region.”

Khader lies just across the demilitarized zone between the two countries on the Golan Heights and is in Syria’s Quneitra province.

Israeli military reporters were told that the strike on Quneitra targeted Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen trying to set up a base of operations near the Israeli border. The tank shelling was also meant to serve as a warning to Syria and other Iranian proxies that Israel would not tolerate Tehran’s efforts to establish a permanent military presence in the Syrian Golan.

Until recently, Israel typically refrained from commenting on its military activities against Iran in Syria, neither confirming nor denying strikes. Over the past few months, however, this policy of ambiguity has been largely abandoned by Israeli military and political officials, who have begun more openly discussing the Israel Defense Forces’ operations in Syria.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria to thwart attempts to smuggle weapons to the Hezbollah terror group and keep Iranian-backed forces from entrenching themselves near the border.

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