IDF Returns Fire Across Syrian Border

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

The Israeli army fired into Syria on Monday after its troops were shot at on the Golan Heights, the military said.

“Gunfire was opened from Syria towards IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers in the central Golan Heights. The force retaliated towards the threat and a hit was confirmed,” a military statement said.

There were no Israeli casualties in the incident.

An Israeli military source said that the brief exchange of fire happened near the Quneitra border crossing and that the Israeli troops said they were fired on by a Syrian soldier.

The army was still checking whether its troops were the target of the gunfire, the source said, but the likely source of cross-border fire was a Syrian army position. It remained unclear whether Syrian soldiers sustained casualties in the incident.

Hours earlier, a Syrian mortar shell landed in the Druze village of Majdal Shams on the Israeli side of the Golan, near Israel’s security fence. No casualties were reported.

“The pastoral scenery of the Golan Heights, awash with basalt and flowing streams, can change in a momentary bang to a battlefield of blood, fire, and plumes of smoke,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned during a speech in October.

Similar cross-border incidents have occurred over the past year as the Syrian civil war has worsened.