Syrian army: Israeli airstrikes killed soldier

Damascus warns that sorties endanger regional stability, accuses Israel of trying to distract from regime victories

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

DAMASCUS — Israeli air raids on Syria on Wednesday killed one soldier and injured seven, Syria’s army said, warning that the strikes endangered regional security and stability.

The army command in a statement said the strikes targeted military bases in the Quneitra region “leading to the martyrdom of one soldier and the wounding of seven others.”

“We warn that these desperate attempts to escalate and exacerbate the situation in these circumstances by repeating these acts of aggression would endanger the security and stability of the region,” the statement added.

The statement came after Israel announced it had carried out air raids overnight against several Syrian army positions that “aided and abetted” an attack against Israeli troops on Tuesday.

The strikes came 12 hours after four soldiers who were patrolling the Israeli side of the ceasefire line with Syria were wounded by a roadside bomb, one of them severely.

Syria, which has long accused the rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad of ties to Israel, said the Jewish state’s strikes were intended to bolster the opposition.

“This new aggression is an attempt to divert attention from the successive victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army, particularly in Yabroud,” the statement said, referring to the army’s capture of the former rebel bastion on Sunday.

It said the strikes were intended to “boost the morale of the terrorist gangs that are falling apart under the blows of the army.”

Syria’s regime refers to all those seeking Assad’s ouster as “terrorists” and regularly accuses them of cooperating with an array of the country’s enemies, including Israel, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The Syrian army statement made no mention of Tuesday’s attack that targeted the Israeli soldiers.

It was unclear who was behind that attack, though Israel has said it faces a growing threat from both jihadists fighting with the Syrian opposition and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, whose fighters are battling alongside the regime.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed