Sources: Syrian Fire Likely Intentional, Not Accidental

YERUSHALAYIM -
A view of bombed buildings in the Syrian town of Quneitra, on the border with Israel in the Golan Heights. (Hadas Parush/Flash90, File)

Sources in the IDF believe that the “accidental” Syrian fire Israel has suffered in recent days is actually targeted fire, Channel 2 reported over the weekend. The latest incident of Syrian fire occurred Shabbos morning, with four explosions on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights border fence, caused by missiles that “strayed” into Israel, the result of ongoing fighting between rebels and Syrian army forces. IDF forces responded to the fire, destroying several missile positions in Syria. No injuries or damage were reported on the Israeli side, with the missiles falling in open areas, the IDF said.

While such incidents have occurred on occasion over the half decade of the Syrian civil war, the incidents have increased in recent months, the sources told Channel 2 — and the nature of the incidents has changed. If in the past, a volley of missiles would strike both on the Syrian and Israeli side of the border fence, recent incidents had nearly all the missiles — in Shabbbos’s incidents, four out of five — hitting Israel. In addition, sources said, there had not been active fighting on the Golan at the time the missiles were fired. The missiles in this incident also hit deep within Israeli territory in the Golan, indicating that they were fired from very close to the border fence.

In a statement, the IDF said that “these incidents have been ongoing and will continue to elicit a sharp reaction from Israel. The IDF will not tolerate any attempts to violate Israeli sovereignty and harm the security of Israelis. We see the Syrian government as responsible for everything that happens in areas under its control.”

Syria over the weekend complained to the United Nations about the Israeli strike, demanding that the world body take action against “Israeli aggression.” In a statement, the Syrian Army accused Israel of fabricating the missile fire in order to justify attacking the Syrian army positions. “The Israeli aggression came after terrorists had launched mortar shells, upon the instructions of the Israeli entity, on an area of empty land inside the occupied territories, to give the Israeli enemy a pretext to carry out its aggression,” the Syrian army said in a statement. “The Israeli occupation bears full responsibility for the outcomes of that aggression, regardless of the flimsy pretexts which have become exposed and well known to all,” it added.