Syrian Mortar Explodes in Israeli Golan Heights

Fighting between rebel forces and Assad continues to spill over into Israel, even as Ya'alon claims Israel not 'threatened.'

Ari Yashar ,

Syrian rebels fire mortar (file)
Syrian rebels fire mortar (file)
Reuters

A mortar shell from Syria exploded in the Golan Heights early on Wednesday afternoon, landing on the Israeli side of the Quneitra crossing that is the only point of access between the two countries.

The shell landed in open territory and according to reports did not cause damage or injury.

Apparently the mortar shell was a case of stray fire from the intense fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, which has been completely captured by Syrian rebel forces.

Wednesday's spillover is far from the first such incident since rebel forces started their latest successful campaign to wrest control of the region from Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces.

There have been numerous rockets and mortar shells in recent weeks that have wounded several Israelis, including cases of supposedly stray gunfire. Likewise Israel shot down a Syrian drone after it strayed into Israeli airspace late last month.

Despite the various incursions, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Tuesday "the rebels are advancing, but they don't threaten us. Those close to the border are local militias."

In contrast to his statements, video evidence has shown that not only local militias but the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, has captured the town of Naba Al-Sakhr in Quneitra along the border with Israel.

In capturing the region, the Al Qaeda-linked forces reportedly seized UN weapons, equipment and uniforms, in addition to temporarily holding 45 Fijian UN peacekeepers captive.

Speaking to reporters at the UN's New York headquarters, Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari on Tuesday accused Israel of aiding the rebels in conquering the region from Syria.



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