Skip to main content

Israel retaliates in Syria after roadside bomb attack against Israeli troops

By Laura Smith-Spark and Michael Schwartz, CNN
March 19, 2014 -- Updated 1258 GMT (2058 HKT)
An Israeli tank stationed near Majdal Shams on the border with Syria, on March 19,2014 in Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.
An Israeli tank stationed near Majdal Shams on the border with Syria, on March 19,2014 in Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Israel's air force strikes Syrian targets, a day after Israeli troops were attacked
  • Syrian military says one soldier was killed, seven injured, according to Syrian state TV
  • Benjamin Netanyahu warns: "Our policy is very clear: We attack those who attack us"
  • Israel's defense minister says Israel holds Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israel has warned Syria's government that any aggression against Israeli citizens will be met with force, as a roadside bomb attack which injured Israeli troops prompted airstrikes on Syrian targets.

Addressing a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli strikes on Syrian territory targeted elements "that not only facilitated, but also cooperated with, the attacks on our forces."

He added, "Our policy is very clear: We attack those who attack us."

The government of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is engaged in a long-running civil war which has seen some conflict spill over into neighboring countries.

Four Israeli paratroopers were injured Tuesday when the bomb exploded under their patrol jeep in the Golan Heights, near the frontier between Israel and Syria, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Watch shelling near Syrian-Israeli frontier
Syrian war comes to Israeli border

Before the explosion, Israeli forces had detected suspicious movements near the border, the IDF said.

Israeli forces responded to the blast with artillery fire aimed at Syrian military targets across the frontier, it said. This was followed by airstrikes early Wednesday.

"We will not tolerate any violation of our sovereignty and attacks against our soldiers and civilians, and we will act unwaveringly and with strength against all those that are acting against us, at every time and every place," said Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.

"We see the Assad regime as responsible for what is going on in its territory, and if it continues to cooperate with terror organizations that are trying to attack Israel, we will continue to extract a heavy price from him, in a way which will make him regret his actions."

A statement from the Syrian army command, broadcast by Syrian state TV, said one soldier was killed and seven others injured in Israeli airstrikes on a checkpoint in the Quneitra area. The Quneitra crossing is the only access point between Syria and Israel and in the past has been fiercely fought over by Syrian rebels and government forces.

Israeli artillery, tank shells and armor-piercing shells directed near the village of Seheit had also caused "material damage," the military statement said.

The Syrian army accused Israel of violating the terms of a 1974 "disengagement agreement" between the two nations, and of seeking to ease pressure on the "terrorists" it blames for the violence in Syria.

"The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces warns that these desperate bids of provocations and escalations by these continuing acts of aggressions can risk the security and the stability of the region and open up all possibilities," it said.

Netanyahu, in his Cabinet remarks, said Israel would continue to do all it could to prevent the movement of weapons into Syria.

The mountainous Golan was captured by Israel in 1967 during the Six-Day War against Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria. A peace deal was reached between Israel and Syria in 1974, and a U.N. observer force monitors the cease-fire line. Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981.

READ: Heavy shelling rocks Golan Heights area between Syria, Israel

CNN's Michael Schwartz reported from Jerusalem and Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London. CNN's Saad Abedine contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0135 GMT (0935 HKT)
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1951 GMT (0351 HKT)
CNN attends a funeral where mourners keep their distance.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0913 GMT (1713 HKT)
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 2053 GMT (0453 HKT)
Obama's remarks that he didn't yet have a strategy for ISIS in Syria is widely criticized.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1126 GMT (1926 HKT)
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0125 GMT (0925 HKT)
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0520 GMT (1320 HKT)
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT