At around 5:00 A.M. on Saturday morning, five rockets from Syria landed in the Golan. IDF artillery fired back, destroying three rocket launchers. There were no injuries or damage in Israel.
Channel 2 News reported that the IDF stated this recent incident was spillover fire from hostilities between the Syrian army and rebels. The new report also said there was “a growing sense” in the IDF that the Syrian fire was intentionally aimed at Israel.
This recent incident was exceptional in that at the time the rockets were fired, there were no hostilities between the Syrian army and rebel troops. The rockets were fired in quick succession and landed deep in Israel than usual.
The Syrian army issued a statement to the Syrian press regarding the IDF shelling, saying it came after “Syrian opposition fighters fired mortar rounds that hit an open area in the Israeli-occupied Golan giving the Jewish state a pretext to bomb the army.”
The Syrian Foreign Ministry sent messages sent to the UN secretary-general and the UN Security Council, accusing Israel of aiding the rebel groups in order to instigate spillover fire, thereby giving Israel an excuse to attack Syria.
“The recent Israeli attack on the outskirts of Quneitra is a new chapter in the conspiracy between the Israeli occupation and armed terror groups, and another attempt to support these organizations,” warning that the “dire consequences of these repeated aggressive actions, which cannot be seen as anything but support for terrorism and the criminal terror groups.”
Tensions between Israel and Syria are growing on the northern border. On Monday, a Syrian surface-to-air missile (SAM) SA-5 battery fired a missile at Israeli Air Force planes on a routine reconnaissance flight over Southern Lebanon on Monday. The IAF responded by dropping four bombs on the site 30 miles east of Damascus two hours later, rendering it “unoperational”.
Two rocket-alert sirens were sounded in the Golan Heights on Wednesday in response to internal fighting in Syria.
A rocket fired from Syria crossed into the Golan on Thursday landed in an open field. No damage or injuries were reported. It is believed that the incident was spillover from ongoing hostilities between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad and rebel troops.
Iran is inserting itself into the situation, making it especially volatile. Iranian army Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Bagheri’s visit to Syria on Saturday, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in which they agreed up upgrade the cooperation and coordination between their two armies. On Wednesday, Bagheri told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the official news agency of Iran, “It is not acceptable for the Zionist regime to violate Syria anytime it wants”.