- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Israel hits a Syrian launcher at border
Question of the Day
JERUSALEM — An Israeli tank hit a Syrian artillery-launcher Monday after a mortar shell fell on the Golan Heights, raising fears that the Jewish state could be dragged into the raging Syrian civil war now entering its 20th month.
Israeli officials said that the tank fire hit a Russian-made D-30 howitzer responsible for firing a shell that exploded within the Israeli-occupied strategic plateau that Israel took from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War. The howitzer was manned by Syrian troops who have been battling insurgent forces close to the Golan border in recent weeks.
There have been at least eight incidents in which shells or bullets fired from inside Syria have struck on the Israeli side of the border. They caused no casualties or significant damage.
On Sunday, an Israeli tank fired a warning shot at a Syrian battery after a mortar shell landed inside a kibbutz without exploding.
After Israel hit the howitzer position Monday, Israeli soldiers using binoculars observed two Syrian artillerymen being evacuated in an ambulance, apparently wounded.
Until Monday, Israeli officers regarded the cross-border shells as stray fire not intended to hit Israeli targets.
However, a senior official said that Israel is now starting to question that assessment.
“We thought it was spillover, but today we’re not sure,” he said.
Israel retaliated after Syrian troops shelled rebel gunmen in the Syrian village of Bariqa, only a few hundred yards from the Israeli border.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is trying to determine whether the Syrian fire was intentional.
“We are closely monitoring what is happening and will respond appropriately,” he told foreign ambassadors in a speech Monday. “We will not allow our borders to be violated or our citizens to be fired upon.”
Until its warning shot Sunday, Israel had not fired into Syria since the immediate aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israel has been restrained in its response because it does not wish to become embroiled in the Syrian civil war, which has claimed at least 37,000 lives, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group that relies on a network of activists inside Syria.
Jerusalem is concerned that Syrian President Bashar Assad might attempt to draw Israel into the conflict to induce the opposition forces to join him in a war against the Jewish state.
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq