Arab media sources are reporting deaths and injuries in Israeli artillery bombing targeting Quneitra, in the Syrian Golan Heights, on Monday. This is the third day in a row, the same sources say, that the Golan front is witnessing an escalating tension after shells had dropped in Israel’s part of the Golan.
According to the website Al-Mayaden, at 6 AM Monday the IDF targeted a missile launcher on a bridge, in an area that had been changing hands between rival militias for some time. The area had last changed hands on Sunday.
According to the IDF, on Sunday the Israeli army attacked two Syrian artillery guns and an ammunition truck belonging to the Syrian regime on the Syrian Golan Heights, in response to a spike in firing into Israeli. The Syrian army for its part threatened the “Israeli enemy” with retaliation and warned of the “grave consequences” of such an action. ”
The Al-Mayaden website reported that “the Israeli attack resulted in two martyrs and three wounded troops of the Golan regiments,” and on Sunday Israeli shells also landed on the Syrian side of the Golan.
Israeli media reported that an Israeli tank shelled Syrian positions in the northern Golan. However, the IDF Spokesperson’s office made clear that those were false reports, and that there had been no triggering of Israel’s response system.
The IDF also instructed local Syrian farmers to clear out of their orchards on Monday, after a Syrian shell had fallen deep in a minefield inside Israeli territory, and ignited a fire, resulting in a thick cloud of smoke that hovered over the area.
The IDF later announced that a few machine gun bullets hit the international forces base in the Zivanit area, adjacent to the security fence in the northern Golan Heights.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee: “We have many prophets who predict war in the north or the south. We have no intention of initiating a military move – neither in the south nor in the north.” However, he clarified that “we are not going to ignore anything. Everything will receive a powerful response.”
“I wanted to warn the people in Damascus,” Liberman added, “that whomever wishes to turn the [Syrian Golan] into a Hezbollah base, to think again. We will not accept Syria’s becoming another front against Israel.”