Israeli Army strikes targets in Syria; sirens blare in northern Golan

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Israeli Army strikes targets in Syria; sirens blare in northern Golan
Ynetnews/Ahiya Raved /01.28.15 / Israel News

Air raid sirens sound in northern Golan for second time in a day; moments later IDF Spokesperson’s Unit says warplanes attacked Syrian military artillery positions. Israeli Air Force warplanes attacked Syrian military targets shortly after midnight on Wednesday, as air raid sirens blared in the northern Golan Heights towns of El Rom, Neve Ativ, and several Druze villages. The IDF said no rockets had landed in Israeli territory and the military was investigating why the alarms sounded.

Residents in the northern Golan Heights reported hearing air raid sirens at 12:33 am. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced the IAF strikes moments later and said that “the rocket fire is a flagrant violation of Israeli sovereignty. The IDF holds the Syrian regime as responsible for what occurs in its territory and will continue to operate as it sees fit to defend the citizens of the State of Israel. Direct hits on the targets were identified.”Arab media outlets reported that artillery positions of the Syrian military’s 90th brigade were attacked. Syrian opposition sources claimed that the sites targeted belonged to militias loyal to President Assad and affiliated with Hezbollah.

Earlier in the day, two rockets exploded in the northern Golan Heights. The two projectiles were fired from Syrian territory. There were no casualties and no damages were reported. The IDF retaliated at the launch site with artillery fire. The Israeli Air Force raised its alert level of its flight squadrons on the northern front in response to the rocket fire from Syrian territory. Meanwhile, a senior military source said the two rockets were of the 107mm variety.

The source added that the IDF attacked the Syrian military launching pad and claimed that Hezbollah was responsible for the rocket fire. However, he emphasized that Israel “sees Syrian as responsible for all fire emanating from its territory.”
**Yoav Zitun and Roi Kais contributed to this report.

Rockets Fired from Syria Hit Israeli-Held Golan
Naharnet 27.01.15/At least two rockets fired from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday prompting Israeli forces to return fire, the army said.There were no immediate reports of casualties on the Israeli side. Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner said in a text message the Syrian fire was “intentional, not spillover from the Syrian civil war” as has sometimes been the case in the past. In September the army fired at a Syrian military position in response to what it said was stray fire from fighting between soldiers and Islamist rebels close to the armistice line on the Golan. There has been repeated fire across the ceasefire line since the uprising in Syria erupted in March 2011, not all of it stray. In August, five rockets fired from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights and, in July, Israel shelled Syrian army positions when a rocket struck its territory. Tensions have soared along the ceasefire line since a January 18 air strike attributed to Israel killed six Hizbullah fighters and an Iranian general near Quneitra on the Syrian-held side of the strategic plateau.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Friday that Israel was prepared for any retaliation by Lebanon’s Hizbullah, which is operating in Syria in support of President Bashar Assad. “Israel will hold responsible governments, regimes and organizations on the other side of our northern borders over any violation of Israel’s sovereignty, or an attack on soldiers or civilians,” he said during a tour of the Golan and the nearby border with Lebanon. Israel has deployed its Iron Dome missile defense system in the north, where local media say it is amassing tanks and infantry reinforcements. The army said that after Tuesday’s rocket attack it evacuated visitors from the Mount Hermon ski resort near the armistice line and security sources said farmers were told to leave their fields and go into bomb shelters. Police said they had set up roadblocks to stop civilians entering the area. Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the Golan from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and annexed it in 1981 in a move never recognized by the international community. Syria and Israel are still officially in a state of war.
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