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Israel and Syria at brink of war as both sides exchange fire, threats

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Syria and Israel are on the brink of war over their conflict in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Both sides are exchanging fire today with both sides pledging to retaliate against the other for any act seen as belligerent.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (Catholic Online) - Syria and Israel could be on the brink of war as both sides exchange fire in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

On Tuesday, Syria claimed it destroyed an Israeli vehicle which crossed the border into Syria. Israeli Defense Forces claimed the vehicle was on their side of the cease fire line when it was fired on by the Syrian army.

The Israeli military's chief of staff, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, said, "They fire on it once. They fire on it twice. They fire on it a third time, from a clear Syrian position. One time, okay. Two times, okay. Three times, too many. The position was destroyed."

Israel reportedly fired two rockets into Syria.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told the media, "Our policy on Syria is clear: We are not intervening there, of course, in the civil war ... But as for the situation in the Golan Heights, we are not allowing and we will not permit a spillover of fire into our territory."

Momentum in the ongoing civil war appears to have tilted back towards Syrian President Bashar al Assad as rebel forces remain fractured and ill-equipped.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army is supported by Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon as well as by Iranian imports.

Despite these circumstances, Israel remains robust in its defense, proactively striking Iranian imports bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon as they pass through Syria. Two weeks ago, Israeli warplanes struck and destroyed a warehouse in Damascus said to be storing weapons for shipment to Hezbollah.

Further aggression is likely as both sides remain tense and ready to fight. Any further incident could spark an all-out confrontation which could lead to full-scale war.  In such an event, Israel would likely be victorious, but the cost to Israeli security would be great as backlash from anti-Israeli groups spiked.

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