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Israel Threatens to ‘Escalate Response’ against Syrian Regime

Israel Threatens to ‘Escalate Response’ against Syrian Regime

Sunday, 22 October, 2017 - 07:30
Israeli soldiers sit atop a tank as they watch the border with Syria near the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria, on the Golan Heights. (Reuters)

Israeli artillery shelled three Syrian regime positions in the Golan Heights amid threats that Tel Aviv would escalate its response to rocket fire from the Syrian side of the Golan.

The Israeli shelling came in retaliation to five rockets being fired from Golan territories that are held by gunmen in Syria. The rockets had veered off their course and landed in the Israeli-occupied section of the region.

Israeli military spokesman Avihay Adarei said in a statement that Israel will consider the shelling to be an “exceptional accident” if it was not deliberate.

“The continuation of the shelling will be confronted by an escalation in the Israeli response,” he warned.

Israel held the Syrian regime responsible for the shelling even though they are believed to have been fired by other forces that are holding that area of the Golan. No casualties have been reported in the incident.

“The army will not tolerate any attempt to violate the Israeli state’s sovereignty or the security of its people,” Adarei added.

“It considers the Syrian regime responsible for what takes place within its territory,” he continued.

The Israeli statement clearly indicates that Tel Avibv has the intention to play a greater role in intervening in the Syrian war should other shells land in regions its occupies.

In the past, Israel made due with retaliating to any fire from the Syrian side of the border when it came to unintentional shelling. This time however, it accompanied its retaliation with a threat to the Syrian regime.

For its part, the regime acknowledged the Israeli attack against one of its positions,.

“The general command of the military and armed forces renews its warning of the dangerous repercussions of such hostile activities and holds Israel completely responsible for their consequences,” regime forces said in a statement.

“The attack is part of Israeli coordination with the terrorist groups that it supports in the region,” they added.

It said that the initial rocket fire that prompted the Israeli retaliation was originally coordinated with Tel Aviv “in order to give the Zionist enemy an excuse to carry out its aggression.”

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