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Israel fires warning shot into Syria

[ 2012-11-12 11:11] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Israeli forces fired into Syria on Sunday in what the military called a warning, after stray munitions from fighting between Syrian troops and rebels hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The incident, described by Israel Radio as the first direct engagement of the Syrian military on the Golan since the countries' 1973 war, highlighted international fears that Syria's civil war could ignite wider regional conflict.

An Israeli security source said the military fired in the direction of a Syrian army mortar crew that had launched a shell which over shot the Golan disengagement fence on Sunday, exploding near a Jewish settlement without causing casualties.

In a statement, the Israeli military said soldiers had "fired warning shots toward Syrian areas".

"The IDF (Israel Defense Force) has filed a complaint through the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity," the statement said. There was no immediate comment from the 1,000-man United Nations Disengagement Observer Force which patrols the area.

Israel has tried to stay out of the 19-month-old Syrian insurgency, reluctant to be drawn into another war and unclear about whether a post-Bashar al-Assad Syria might prove more hostile.

Israel's military chief, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, warned troops on the Golan Heights a week ago: "This is a Syrian issue that could become our issue."

Syrian opposition groups were thrashing out details on Sunday of a new structure to take forward their struggle against Assad's rule as the exiles who have led it so far heeded Arab and Western calls to broaden their ranks.

On the ground fighting flared anew on the Syrian border with Turkey where deadly clashes between the Syrian army and rebels have triggered a mass exodus in recent days.

Reservations persisted in the ranks of the Syrian National Council, which had been regardedas the leading representative of the opposition but has been increasingly criticized as a talking shop for exiles, over what some members see as a move to sideline it.

But the bloc's leaders voiced confidence that a deal was near.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Israel fires warning shot into Syria

About the broadcaster:

Israel fires warning shot into Syria

CJ Henderson is a foreign expert for China Daily's online culture department. CJ is a graduate of the University of Sydney where she completed a Bachelors degree in Media and Communications, Government and International Relations, and American Studies. CJ has four years of experience working across media platforms, including work for 21st Century Newspapers in Beijing, and a variety of media in Australia and the US.