By Ria Novosti
Israel’s armed forces have opened tank fire on Syria confirming direct hits after a mortar shell from Syria landed in Israeli territory, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported on Monday.
“A short while ago, a mortar shell hit an open area in the vicinity of an IDF post in the central Golan Heights, as part of the internal conflict inside Syria, causing no damage or injuries,” the IDF said on its website.
“In response, IDF soldiers fired tank shells towards the source of the fire, confirming direct hits,” it said.
“The IDF has filed a complaint with the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity,” the IDF said.
There was no immediate comment from Syrian officials.
On Sunday, the Israeli military reported that IDF soldiers “fired warning shots” toward Syria after “a mortar shell hit an IDF post in the Golan Heights adjacent to the Israel-Syria border.”
These were apparently two separate incidents on Sunday and Monday rather than different reports of one exchange of fire.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over reports of clashes on the Syrian-Israeli border in the area of Golan Heights, urging both countries to exercise restraint.
Israel and Syria have enjoyed peace since the Yom Kippur War of 1973, a brief conflict in which the Israeli forces defeated an Arab coalition led jointly by Syria and Egypt. Israel has controlled the strategically important Golan Heights since the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, though Damascus has never acknowledged the loss of this territory.