JERUSALEM Nov 18 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 neighbours 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
Israel captured the Golan area in the 1967 war and later
annexed it in a move never recognised 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.