Israel Retaliates For Deadly Syrian Attack

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday warned the warring parties in Syria against any attempt to heat up tensions with Israel, hours after the Israeli air force carried out a series of airstrikes in Syria in response to a deadly cross-border attack.

“Last night we operated with great force against Syrian targets that acted against us, and if needed we will use additional force,” he told members of his Likud Party. “We will continue to forcefully hurt anyone who attacks us or tries to attack us.”

The IDF said the air raids struck nine targets in neighboring Syria. The Syrian government has not commented, but a monitoring group said the airstrikes killed at least 10 troops and destroyed an army command center.

The director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami
Abdurrahman, said the Israeli strikes destroyed two tanks, two artillery batteries and the headquarters of Syria’s 90th brigade.

The Observatory collects its information through a network of activists inside Syria.

“Yesterday’s attack was an unprovoked act of aggression against Israel, and a direct continuation to recent attacks that occurred in the area,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman.

It was not immediately clear whether Syrian troops or one of the many rebel groups battling the government carried out Sunday’s deadly attack in the Golan. But Lerner said it was clear that the attack was intentional.

The officials said they did not expect the situation to escalate immediately but that it remains tense.

Mohammed Karaka, 14, who died in the Syrian attack, was buried on Monday in the Arab village of Arabeh in northern Israel.