IDF fires warning shot into Syria
First such altercation between Syria and Israel since 1973's Yom Kippur war
For the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur war, IDF ground forces fired a warning shot at the Syrian military. A stray Syrian shell from civil strife in that country reportedly exploded on the Golan Heights for the second time in recent days, prompting retaliation.
Israel has sent a warning message to the United Nations, saying that any further firing into Israel from Syria will result "in a real response."
"In the midst of Syrian infighting, a mortar shell fired by the Syrian Army struck near an [IDF] outpost at Tel Azeka," IDF spokesman Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai said.
The shell neither caused injuries or damages. It was one of a series that hit Israeli territory.
"In light of the policy instituted by IDF chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, a warning round was fired back into Syria. We don't believe it caused injuries or damages," Mordechai added.
Israel fired an advanced Tapuz-type missile at Syrian artillery cannon, military sources said.
Concurrently, Israel sent a warning message to the United Nations, saying that any further firing into Israel will result "in a real response."
The IDF retaliated with only a single missile. Its policy is to only fire intensively in response to coming under major Syrian fire.
"We didn't continue firing, because this was one mortar shell we were responding to," the source said.
"We will not accept any firing into our territory," he added.
"This was a signal to the Syrians that we will not be so forgiving of everything that lands in a territory."
Israel and Syria are currently not in a situation of conflict, government sources say.
The IDF is on standby in case of security deterioration on both the northern front and on the border with Gaza.
"The message has certainly been relayed. To tell you confidently that no shell will fall? I cannot. If a shell falls, we will respond," Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio.
"After a number of shelling incidents into Israeli territory during recent weeks, I instructed the IDF to respond in-kind should the situation recur," Barak says. "Today, another mortar shell was fired from Syria, landing on an IDF outpost. The Chief of Staff ordered the IDF to return fire on the mortar outpost [from which the mortar was fired]. This was a sign to Syria that we will not tolerate shelling into our territory."
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