Israel Strikes Syrian Military in Response to ‘Spillover’ Fire, Twice

Syria’s civil war is straying into Israel, again. Educational sign post showing distance between major locations in the Middle East. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Multiple Syrian projectiles hit Israeli territory on Saturday and the Israelis were very clear that such “spillover” from the Syrian civil war is unacceptable, as the Israeli military took the strong response of publicly targeting the Syrian military directly. Then it happened again the next day.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed said that on Saturday “more than 10 projectiles” hit an open area in Israel, and in response the Israeli strikes on Saturday took out a Syrian heavy machine gun position and two tanks, according to a video posted to the Twitter account.

On Sunday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed said that following “several Syrian projectiles” hitting an open area in the northern Golan Heights region of Israel, the IDF struck two Syrian military artillery positions and an ammunitions truck. While no Israeli injuries occurred in the Syrian attacks, more than a dozen projectiles have struck Israel in two days. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments on Sunday published by his office, warned against future Syrian attacks—intentional or not.

Commenting on Saturday’s Israeli strikes on the Syrian military, he said, “This was a vigorous response to mortar fire at our territory. Our policy is clear: We will not tolerate any spillover or trickle whatsoever—neither mortars nor rockets, from any front. We will respond strongly to any attack on our territory or our citizens.”

Commenting on the initial back and forth that started with 10 Syrian mortars hitting Israel, former IDF spokesman and retired Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in his Twitter account, “Don’t breach our sovereignty!!”

Aside from the military response, the Israelis also are taking a diplomatic one as well. Following the barrage of Syrian mortars on Saturday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed reported that they filed an “official protest” with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, the U.N. body tasked with keeping the ceasefire between Israel and Syria over the last four decades. The Tweet called the mortar fire an “unacceptable breach of Israeli sovereignty.”

The apparently stray Syrian shots that hit Israel come during an increasingly tense time in the northern neighbor of Israel. The Iranians have recently struck at terrorist targets in Syria, while the Americans hit a Syrian base and shot down a Syrian plane threatening allied forces.

That last move prompted the Russians—allies with the Syrian regime—to threaten to shoot down any aircraft of the international coalition flying over Syria, according to a report from The New York Times. So far, that threat has not materialized.

Nonetheless, things certainly have not been quiet in Syria—or Israel for that matter.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, June 25, 2017)

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