Israeli Strike Draws Syrian Threats
Syria warned against the repercussions of repeated Israeli strikes Saturday after the IDF attacked three regime artillery positions near the town of Quneitra earlier in the day in response to five shells that fell in the northern Golan Heights in an apparent spillover of fighting between regime forces and rebel factions.
An IDF spokesman said Israel would not tolerate continued spillover of fire from Syria and warned that its response would intensify if the incidents continued.
“Whether errant fire or not, any future occurrences will force the Israel Defense Forces to intensify its response,” the spokesman said. “The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to breach Israeli sovereignty or to harm the security of its citizens. The IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for events occurring in its territory.”
The Syrian Army confirmed that a military position in the Quneitra area had been attacked, causing “material damage.”
The incident is the second time within a week that Israel has attacked a Syrian position in response to stray fire. In addition, last Monday, Israeli jets struck and destroyed a Syrian anti-aircraft battery in response to anti-aircraft fire on planes on a reconnaissance mission over Lebanon.
In a letter to the United Nations Secretary General, Syria accused Israel of “desperate attempt” to support rebel factions fighting the regime and warned of the “serious repercussions of such repeated aggressive acts which support terrorism and its criminal organizations.”
“The new aggression leaves no doubt as to the links between the Israeli occupation and terrorist organizations as facts and incidents add up to prove this said the Ministry, with the goal being the destabilization of the Syrian Arab Republic. The attack is but a desperate attempt to shore up terrorist groups including ISIS and al-Nusra which have received heavy blows by the Syrian Arab Army,” the letter added.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Syria and Iran signed a Memorandum of Understanding to broaden and develop military cooperation and coordination. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, Syria’s Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Ali Abdallah Ayoub and his Iranian Counterpart Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri agreed to develop military cooperation in various fields, including training, the exchange of combat and field expertise, intelligence information and military technology.
According to the Hebrew Ynet website, the agreement also included a clause expanding cooperation against “Zionist Schemes.”
Following last week’s IAF strike on the Syrian anti-aircraft battery, Bagheri said “it is unacceptable that the Zionist regime enter [Syrian airspace] and violate Syria whenever it pleases’