Friday, August 21, 2015
Israeli retaliations kill five or six people in Syria
Israeli tank on the Golan overlooks the Syrian city of Quneitra. (Reuters)
A new Israeli raid on Syrian-controlled territory in the Golan Heights killed at least five people Friday, Syrian state television said, describing the dead as unarmed civilians. An Israeli military source said the strikes targeted militants who fired rockets into Israel Thursday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based activist group monitoring the war, also confirmed five people had been killed, saying two pro-regime militiamen were among them.
Friday's strikes came after Israel said it had hit at least 14 Syrian army position in the Golan Heights Thursday in response to the rocket fire on the Galilee region in northern Israel.
An Israeli military source confirmed the Friday raids, saying "part of the squad responsible for firing the rockets yesterday was targeted and neutralized." The source said the raids were believed to have killed four or five people. He said the group targeted was "part of the (Palestinian militant group) Islamic Jihad in Syria, acting under the supervision of Iran."
Syrian state media reported two sets of Israeli raids Thursday, saying the first hit local government buildings and caused damage but no deaths. It said the second set of raids, late Thursday evening, hit army positions and killed one person, without specifying if they were a soldier or civilian, and wounded seven soldiers. The Observatory however said the second set of raids killed two soldiers and wounded another eight.
The Golan Heights plateau is divided between Israeli and Syrian control. Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the plateau from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it 14 years later, in a move never recognized by the international community.