IDF attacks military post in Syria after errant mortar fired toward Israel

Source: IDF attacks military post in Syria after errant mortar fired toward Israel

Mortar shell—fired during fighting between President Assad’s forces and Syrian rebels—lands in buffer zone between two countries; IDF stresses it has no desire to become involved in internal fighting but reiterates commitment to honor 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement.

The errant mortar shell was part of the internal fighting in the ongoing civil war between President Bashar Assad’s regime and rebels fighting to overthrow him.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit issued a statement reiterating that the military remains uninvolved in the war ravaging Syria and will continue to honor the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement that includes preserving the buffer zone.

IDF tanks in Golan Heights (Photo: Reuters)

IDF tanks in Golan Heights (Photo: Reuters)
The lastest incident comes as Israel quietly acknowledges that Assad’s forces will soon be on its doorstep, laying down red lines for postwar relations with the Syrian leader.Israeli leaders have sent a series of messages making clear that they expect Assad and his Iranian-backed allies to honor a decades-old agreement that sets out a demilitarized zone along the frontier and limits the number of forces each side can deploy within 25 kilometers (15 miles) of the zone.

“We have a Separation of Forces Agreement with Syria from 1974,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared this week. “This is the guiding principle. We will adhere to it very strictly and so must others, everyone.”

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Ynet on Thursday that “We must verify and do everything to clarify, vis-a-vis the Russians, the Assad government, that we will not accept any armed presence by the Assad regime in the areas which are meant to be demilitarized.”

Asked if Israel was prepared to take preventive action against the Syrian military, Erdan said: “Unequivocally, yes.”

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot received a military briefing in northern Israel on Wednesday during a visit to the 366th Division in the Golan Heights as President Assad’s army continues its campaign to reclaim the last rebel-held strongholds in southwest Syria.

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