Israel drawn into Syria fighting

2012-11-11 16:34

Jerusalem - Israel was drawn into the Syrian civil war for the first time on Sunday, firing warning shots into the neighbouring country after a stray mortar shell fired from Syrian territory hit an Israeli military post.

The Israeli military said the mortar fire caused no injuries or damage at the post in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and then annexed. But in recent weeks, incidents of errant fire from Syria have multiplied, leading Israel to warn that it holds Syria responsible for fire on Israeli-held territory.

"A short while ago, a mortar shell targeted an IDF [Israel Defence Forces] post in the Golan Heights," said army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich.

"We answered with a warning shot toward Syrian areas. We understand this was a mistake and was not meant to target Israel and then that is why we fired a warning shot in retaliation."

The Israeli military also said it has filed a complaint through United Nations forces operating in the area, stating that "fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity".

Israel and Syria are bitter foes who have fought several wars, but their shared border has been mostly quiet since a 1974 cease-fire. Still, Israel worries that Syria's civil war could spill across into the Golan, and repeated errant fire has intensified that concern.

Israel fears that if Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is toppled, the country could fall into the hands of Islamic extremists or descend into sectarian warfare, destabilizing the region.

Israeli officials do not see Assad trying to intentionally draw Israel into the fighting, but have raised the possibility of his targeting Israel in an act of desperation.

They also fear that Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons or other weapons could slip into the hands of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group - a close Syrian ally - or reach other militants if Assad loses power.

Israeli officials also worry that the frontier region could turn into a lawless area like Egypt's Sinai desert, which Islamic militants now use as a launching ground for strikes against southern Israel.

Speaking to his Cabinet on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is "closely monitoring" the border with Syria and is "ready for any development".

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-11-11 16:51

    Not a clever move by Syria.

      keith.f.murphy - 2012-11-11 17:24

      The writing is on the wall! loud and clear WW3 is knocking the door bottom line.

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-11 17:48

      Keith, ONLY in the violent minds of the loony left !!!!!

      lownabester - 2012-11-11 17:48

      Dont mess with the Jews, They will come down so hard on Syria, they will crush them.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-11 21:30

      Vox, neither Obama nor Netanyahu are that childish. Are you?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-11 21:31

      Patrick writing his own script of events, as usual.

      rude.awakning - 2012-11-11 23:19

      lowna , no doubt they will have the help of the west, allbeit under wraps! So if they do not appear to come down and crush syria as you put it, then either the allies are not doing their part or syria is mightier then thy thought! Either way it will be a sad day when someone is proven right or wrong! My word the body count will be endless on both sides! God forbid it!!!!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-12 01:37

      What are you talking about Vox. It's more than obvious that Syria is what would have happened in Libya had the world not intervened. And the reason why the world isn't intervening in Syria is that Russia has military bases there and is propping up the violent dictator because the neo-Soviet Putin can't imagine a better democratic outcome.

      rude.awakning - 2012-11-15 05:32

      fred, of all the reasons... you opted for the putin neo commie excuse!

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-11-11 17:01

    Israel should just ignore any such incidents as it will not serve their purpose to be drawn into this conflict.If they had any sense they would just ignore such transgressions as it could be the rebels trying to involve them and this is more than likely the case!Assad is way to busy with his own problems to seek a confrontation with Israel that will only help with his Israel if they have the presence of mind will just ignore this.I know the commentators on this website will crow about how big a mistake Assad has made but they surely can see only a blinkered view of anything that involves Israel!

  • albert.m.burger - 2012-11-11 17:30

    Where is "fidel.mogoqi" What's up? an article about the middle east is just not the same without you dude!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-11 17:52

      Hello to you too Albert! I am still consulting with my head commissars! How about I just let the peanut gallery continue to make factual errors, and I will gladly correct them.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-11-11 18:26

      Wow, Fidel. One little compliment (tongue in cheek no doubt), and you crown yourself king of the blogosphere, princess. Getting a bit of a big head, eh?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-11 19:36

      I'd hoped that sarcasm transmit over cyberspace!

      albert.m.burger - 2012-11-11 20:08

      Just missing you for a goid debate to read

      rude.awakning - 2012-11-14 20:39

      fidel, i see that your fan club has grown! With some of the far right looking for inspiration from your well informed and factual comments! Thumbs up from me!!!

  • Sibusiso - 2012-11-11 21:17

    Israel is inherently unstable hence the need for them to have a strong military.However a stronger military can never be enough.

      danny.levin.351 - 2012-11-12 08:01

      Sibusiso, Israel needs to maintain a strong military simply because all the hateful nations around it and the palestinians have been constantly attacking it since 1948. As for stability, it is the ONLY nation in the middle east that is 100% democratic and stable since it was funded.

  • rude.awakning - 2012-11-11 21:53

    yet another attemp by the advisors(west) of the FSA to divert attention or distract the syrian army. By the looks of israel was informed beforehand of the plan to fire acrosss their border. When did israel ever not retaliate if fired upon... Intended or not? Warning shots fired in response... Yeah right!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-11 22:41

      Yet another expression of support by a truly delidional person for the brutal rule of Syria by an unelected dictator and his military.

      rude.awakning - 2012-11-11 23:38

      fred, yadi yadi yaa! I can say the same of you as the die hard right! Right or wrong it will be a sad day when someone is proven to be wrong! ......the body count!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-12 00:01

      I agree with you about eliminating suffering. I am not "die-hard right". You're making that up.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-12 06:08

      Plus, surely you can see the "body-count" as you call it is far higher when an unelected dictator in charge of the state and military, armed by Putin's Russia is given free reign.

      danny.levin.351 - 2012-11-12 08:03

      Rude awakening, here's a rude awakening for you... Where were you comments when Turqey retaliated against Syria for the same reasons?

      rude.awakning - 2012-11-14 20:28

      levin, if you wanna chirp in, check your facts before hand! I was very vocal on that topic! Awakning indeed!

  • scholesss - 2012-11-12 06:49

    let them drg israel into..this...they will regret it..if israel..enter the war

      rude.awakning - 2012-11-15 05:34

      booooohhhhh! Be afraid , be very afraid!

  • modernmetaphysicist.modern - 2012-11-12 16:27

    I have 2c to share. been a reader for years here, reading all your posts, i've decided to join in on the global scale debate. Leaders must be elected democratically, there is no way in today's age to have any excuse for genocide, it has been part of history for millennia, and understanding our pre-primative notion of power and our blame from one ethnic group to another, using religion to fuel hatred among our own species in the event for supreme justice, we have to ask ourselves, is what we have been doing before religion to current the way to peace and prosperity, for equal rights to all humans, equal rights to have the freedoms to be any religion you choose, to have the freedom of speech, to have the freedom of free will, to love one another without the deceitful hate we have for each other. we as a specie should thrive to better our understanding of what we have, how we got here, and ultimately what we are leaving as a legacy for our future generations, our future history, our logic we applied as 21st century being on a path to living a content full and happy life that can be passed down. why the world can't unite is the question??? are we really this naive and stubborn. When will this utter madness end?

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