Israel returns fire on Syrian Golan, may have caused deaths

JERUSALEM Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:21am EST

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel fired artillery into Syria in response to gunfire aimed at its troops in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, and may have killed Syrian soldiers, Israel's army said on Sunday.

There were no reported injuries on the Israeli side from the shootings, which occurred on Saturday, the third case this month of violence seen as a spillover of civil unrest in Syria that has also alarmed other neighbors such as Lebanon and Turkey.

"There was small arms fire (at Israeli forces), there was a response and from what I hear over Arab media it appears Syrian soldiers were killed," Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, Israel's chief military spokesman, told Army Radio.

He said Israel was trying not to be dragged into battles between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebels. The chaos of the 20-month-old insurgency often makes independent assessment of casualties within Syria difficult.

"Our trigger finger is very stiff, not light," Mordechai said. "Under no circumstances do we accept any shooting on the State of Israel's territory, but nor do we intend to heat up the area."

Israel captured the Golan area in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move never recognized internationally.

Israel lodged a complaint with the United Nations over Saturday's incident. The U.N. has a peace-keeper force in the area monitoring a ceasefire in place since the 1970s.

(Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Todd Eastham)

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Comments (7)
Harry079 wrote:
Again and again your headlines are slanted against Israel.

Just report the friggin news for once!

Nov 17, 2012 9:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
amorpheous wrote:
Israel’s ongoing assassination campaign and the numberous innocent civilians killed is what caused Palestine’s attacks on Israel. Don’t go blaming Israel because Israel never stops attacking Palestine and never stops their war of attrition.

Israel’s media war continues to paint Palestine as evil terrorists but it’s Israel that is acting like a terrorist state and routinely kills innocent people. The world is finally realizing the injustices that have drive Palestinians to desperation actions. A half century of oppression by Israel is too much!!!

Nov 18, 2012 3:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
j_n_waco wrote:
It boggles my mind how anyone could take the side of Hamas like amorpheous has.

Muslims constantly talk about destroying Israel. Iran sends weapons into Gaza for use against Israel. It’s unbelievable that people like amorpheous support that type of terrorism. Amorpheous, I suppose, is okay with women and children being used as shields and pawns by the Iranians.

Nov 18, 2012 6:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
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