Israel targets Syrian artillery after projectile lands in Golan Heights

Syria: The forgotten border with Israel
Syria: The forgotten border with Israel

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Story highlights

  • Third projectile fired from Syria this week, Israeli military says
  • No injuries reported in any of the incidents

(CNN)Israeli aircraft struck Syrian artillery positions Saturday after a projectile fired from its northern war-torn neighbor struck the Golan Heights, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The IDF said it was the third projectile to have crossed from Syria into the Golan this week, including one Sunday and another Wednesday. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
    The Israeli military said it holds the Syrian government "accountable for this blatant breach of Israeli sovereignty. The IDF will continue to act in order to safeguard Israel and its civilians."
    The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency on Saturday said an Israeli rocket struck "a site in Quneitra in support of the terrorist groups."

    Golan Heights

    Israel seized parts of the Golan Heights, a strategic, rocky plateau to its northeast, from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.
    The international community considers the Golan Heights to be occupied territory and Israeli settlement-building there to be illegal. Syria wants the return of the territory that UN peacekeeping forces have monitored for decades.
    During the first Cabinet meeting held in the territory in April, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Golan Heights will remain permanently under his country's control. He also admitted publicly for the first time that Israel has carried out "dozens" of attacks across the Syrian border.
    According to foreign reports, Israel has conducted numerous strikes in Syria and Lebanon, destroying weapons shipments intended for the militant group Hezbollah. But no Israeli leader had every publicly acknowledged that these strikes occurred.
    Netanyahu said the presence of ancient synagogues in the Golan Heights showed that the territory, with a population of about 50,000, had been "an integral part of the Land of Israel since ancient times," and that it remained an integral part of modern Israel.

    Border tensions

    The IDF has been concerned about instability along the border because of Syria's civil war. A 2014 IDF statement said its forces "have experienced combat in the region, both from targeted strikes and errant fire."
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    Last year, for example, Israeli forces struck a car in a Syrian-controlled area of the Golan Heights, killing five civilians, Syrian state media reported.
    The Israeli military said its forces targeted the area, describing the inhabitants as "part of the terror cell responsible for the rocket fire at northern Israel " It did not say how many people were killed in the attack in al Qom in Quneitra.