Israel Fires ‘Warning Shot’ at Syrian Forces for Ceasefire Violation

Will peace return to the Israel-Syria border region?
Golan Heights UN Peacekeepers. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Wolfgang Grebien.

Israel has been concerned about how close enemy troops might get to their border in the current ceasefire in Syria. But this weekend Israel felt the need to fire a “warning shot” at Syrian positions twice, not for violating the Syrian calm, but for breaking the 1974 ceasefire with Israel. The IDF Spokesperson posted on Sunday to Twitter that “the Syrian Armed Forces violated the 1974 ceasefire by strengthening a military post in the demilitarized zone between Syria & Israel. In response, an IDF tank fired a warning shot towards the area.”

The Times of Israel reported that this was the second Israeli shot at Syrian forces in the demilitarized zone in two days. Following the incident on Saturday, the IDF filed a complaint with the United Nations peacekeeping force stationed in the area, according to the report. The technical ceasefire between Israel and Syria has been less than calm during the current Syrian civil war. Errant fire from Syria has landed in Israel on numerous occasions, with Israel retaliating and last month threatening “to intensify its response,” according to a tweet at the time posted by the IDF Spokesperson.

Syria has certainly been on the mind of the Israelis lately. According to press releases from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, officials have discussed the northern neighbor with the US and France in recent days.

In regards to the latter conversation, Syria was a topic during a call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday. According to a press release from Netanyahu’s office, Macron requested the call, during which they “discussed the nuclear deal with Iran, Iran’s establishment attempts in Syria and its activities in the region.”

In addition, Macron briefed Netanyahu on “the measures he is taking in the crisis in Lebanon.” Syria and Lebanon are intertwined, as key Syrian ally and Iranian patron Hezbollah effectively runs the country. Recently, Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri resigned his post while in Saudi Arabia in protest of the control held by Hezbollah, according to The Daily Star.

According to the press release on Netanyahu’s call with Macron, plans have been made to speak again later this week and meet in Paris in December.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, November 19, 2017)

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