Israel returns fire on Syrian Golan, may have caused deaths

JERUSALEM Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:35pm IST

An Israeli military vehicle tows another as a tank stands in position close to the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights November 13, 2012. REUTERS/Nir Elias

An Israeli military vehicle tows another as a tank stands in position close to the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights November 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

Related Topics

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 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 area."

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.

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

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Neclear Restart

Neclear Restart

Japan's Sendai nuclear restart in final stage: local governor.  Full Article 

Fight Unites

Fight Unites

Kurds' battle for Kobani unites a people divided by borders.  Full Article 

Railway Revamp

Railway Revamp

China to spend at least $33 bln on new railway lines.  Full Article 

Controversial Remark

Controversial Remark

Thousands denounce HSBC board member's likening of Hong Kong people to freed slaves.  Full Article 

Apple's Cook signals front line of new gay rights battle

Cook Speaks Up

Apple's Cook signals front line of new gay rights battle.  Full Article 

Gas Deal

Gas Deal

Ukraine, Russia, EU agree to natural gas supply deal.  Full Article 

Jerusalem Tensions

Jerusalem Tensions

Kerry urges restraint, expresses worry over tensions in Jerusalem.  Full Article 

Myanmar Roundtable

Myanmar Roundtable

Obama urges progress in Myanmar ahead of rare roundtable.  Full Article 

Active Volcano

Active Volcano

National Guard arrives in Hawaii town threatened by lava.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage