Israel believes rocket fire from Syria may have been deliberate

Source: Israel believes rocket fire from Syria may have been deliberate | The Times of Israel

Five projectiles were fired early Saturday; four landed relatively deep inside Israeli territory; Syria protests to the UN after Israel responds

Israeli police officers patrol near the border with Syria in the Golan Heights after four projectiles hit the area early on October 21, 2017. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Israel believes five rockets fired across the border from Syria early Saturday morning may have been deliberately launched at Israel, rather than constituting errant spillover from clashes in Syria, military sources said late Saturday.

Israel fired back into Syria, hitting three rocket launchers, in response to the rocket fire, and warned that further fire would prompt a more intensive response.

Syria, in turn, claimed that Israel had “coordinated” with terror groups, inviting them to fire into Israel as a pretext for the IDF response, and it sent letters of complaint to the United Nations.

The Israeli army said five projectiles were fired at around 5 am, and that four of them fell relatively deep inside Israeli territory. The rockets set off alarms in several locations. They landed in open ground, and caused no injury or damage. One of them landed close to an Israeli residential area.

UN soldiers patrol near the border with Syria in the Golan Heights after projectiles land on the Israeli side of the border, October 21, 2017. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Channel 2 news reported that although the IDF officially referred to “spillover” fire in its statements Saturday, there was “a growing sense” in the army that the Syrian fire was deliberate.

There was no fighting going on in Syria at the time of the fire, the TV report said. It added that the area from which the rockets were fired is under the control of the Syrian army. And it noted that the projectiles fell deep inside Israeli territory on the Golan Heights, one after the other, rather than close to the border.

Tensions have been particularly high on the Israeli-Syrian front of late.

Concluding a visit to Syria on Saturday, the commander of Iran’s armed forces signed a memorandum of understanding with Syrian officials in which the two allies announced plans for tighter military cooperation and coordination — notably against Israel. The sides agreed to expand cooperation on intelligence, training, technology and against what they called “Zionist-American schemes,” the Ynet news website reported.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, Iran’s chief of staff, has spent several days in Syria, touring war zones and meeting with high-level officials, including President Bashar Assad.

Syrian Defense Minister General Fahd al-Freij (R) meets with Chief of Staff of Iran’s armed forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri (L), at the ministry of defense in the capital Damascus on October 18, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)

In what was seen as part of a determined effort to put an end to Israel’s hitherto unimpeded air superiority over Syria and Lebanon, Bagheri on Wednesday said Tehran would not tolerate violations of Syrian sovereignty by Israel and vowed that the two countries would jointly fight against Syria’s enemies. “We cannot accept a situation where the Zionist entity attacks Syria from the ground and the air,” he said.

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman this week hosted his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, and told him that Israel will take action against Iran and its proxies if they continue to entrench themselves along the Syrian border.

Liberman, and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, are in the US this coming week for talks with US officials, with Syria and Iran high on the agenda.

Avigdor Liberman, right, and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu shaking hands with veterans at the IDF’s Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2017. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a rare instance of open disagreement with the Trump administration, has warned that the unfolding situation in southern Syria does not sufficiently address Iranian military ambitions in the area.

“The recent Israeli attack on the outskirts of Quneitra is a new chapter in the conspiracy between the Israeli occupation and armed terror groups, and another attempt to support these organizations,” Syria’s Foreign Ministry said in messages sent to the UN secretary general and the UN Security Council.

Damascus warned of the “dire consequences of these repeated aggressive actions, which cannot be seen as anything but support for terrorism and the criminal terror groups.”

IDF vehicles driving along the road parallel to the border fence separating the Israeli and Syrian regions of the Golan Heights, July 19, 2017. (AFP/MENAHEM KAHANA)

It further expressed “utter astonishment at the Security Council’s inability to stop these Israeli attacks and condemn them.”

The IDF vowed to intensify its responses to future fire. “Even if this is just spillover, this is an exceptional incident and the continuance of such events will be met with a more fierce Israeli response,” a statement by the IDF said.

“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its residents, and considers the Syrian regime responsible for what is happening in its territory,” the statement concluded, they have been looking security personnel and they eventually found out about these private military contractor jobs who can work as private security.

As a result of the projectile fire, missile warning sirens were heard in a number of local communities Saturday morning. The army fired back and hit three Syrian launchers.

After the IDF strike, Syria asserted that Israel had arranged for rebels to fire across the border, in order to justify an Israeli response. The Syrian army said in a statement that the attack was proof of Israel’s “cooperation with terrorist organizations in the region.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s