Israel strikes Syrian posts, warns Assad

Syrian armed forces say the Israeli attack had killed one soldier and wounded seven others

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Israeli air raids on Syria on Wednesday killed one soldier and injured seven, the Syrian army said, warning that the strikes endangered regional security and stability.

The army command in a statement said the strikes targeted military bases in the Quneitra region “leading to the martyrdom of one soldier and the wounding of seven others”.

“We warn that these desperate attempts to escalate and exacerbate the situation in these circumstances by repeating these acts of aggression would endanger the security and stability of the region,” the statement added.

The statement came after Israel announced it had carried out air raids overnight against several Syrian army positions that “aided and abetted” an attack against Israeli troops on Tuesday.

Syria, which has long accused the rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad of ties to Israel, said the Jewish state's strikes were intended to bolster the opposition.

“This new aggression is an attempt to divert attention from the successive victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army, particularly in Yabrud,” the statement said, referring to the army's capture of the former rebel bastion on Sunday.

The Syrian army statement made no mention of Tuesday's attack that targeted the Israeli soldiers.

The Israeli army attacked several Syrian military sites on Wednesday in retaliation for Tuesday's attack on an Israeli patrol near the Golan Heights Frontier. Four soldiers were wounded in the assault.

Israeli military spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, said the attacks targeted Syrian military headquarters, a training facility and artillery batteries, according to statements carried by Reuters.

The Syrian fighting sometimes spills over into Israeli border communities, prompting occasional retaliations from Israel.

Israel warned the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday that it would pay a “high price” for helping militant groups bent on attacking the Jewish state.

“We see the Assad regime as responsible for what is happening under its authority, and if it continues to cooperate with terror elements who seek to harm Israel, we will make it pay a high price,” Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said.

“We will not put up with any breach of our sovereignty or attack on our soldiers or citizens, and we will react with determination and force against anyone acting against us, at any time and any place, as we have done overnight,” Yaalon said in a statement.

“Whoever tries to harm us takes his fate in his hands.”
Syria's forces are supported in their battle against rebels seeking to topple Assad by fighters from Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese Shiite movement which battled Israel to a bloody stalemate in a 2006 war.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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