The IDF allegedly injured a deputy brigade commander of the Syrian army’s 90th battalion during its strikes on two Syrian military targets across Israel’s border on the Golan Heights during the night of September 27.
According to reports in the Arab press, the commander experienced moderate injuries.
The raids were in response to offending rocket fire that was launched from Syria that landed in Israel during the past two days.
The IDF confirmed the air strikes later during the night of September 27, with IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner saying, “Israel will not tolerate violation of its sovereignty; the Syrian military is responsible and accountable for any aggression emanating from Syria. The IDF remains committed in defending the civilians and safeguarding the borders of Israel from all threats.”
Since the night of September 26, two more mortar shells have fallen in open territory in the northern Golan Heights as a direct result of the ongoing civil war in Syria. Neither incident caused injuries or damage. In recent days, activists have described intense fighting between Syrian troops and insurgents in the Quneita area.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon verified that the IDF had hit Syrian targets during the night of September 27, calling the rockets that fell inside Israel “a violation of sovereignty [that] crosses a red line.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said during the night of September 27 that the IDF attacks were aimed at army positions in a town in southwest Quneita province, on the Golan.
Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said that at least three or four Israeli strikes hit a regime military position inside Saryeh, near the regime’s administrative capital of Baath City.
Rahman also said that the strikes were fired inside the Golan but that he did not have any details on any casualties.
At least two Syrian soldiers were killed in the iDF shelling, according to an unconfirmed report by the Israel Hayom website.
Since the Syrian conflict came to a head in 2011, the Golan has been fraught, with a growing number of mostly stray rockets and mortar rounds hitting the Israeli side, which has prompted the occasional armed response.
In recent weeks, Israel has also watched warily as Russia has sent arms to Syria to strengthen the Assad regime, some of which Israel worries might reach Hezbollah and be used in deliberate Hezbollah attacks against Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
On September 27, a Kuwaiti newspaper stated that the Syrian army has been given dozens of Soviet-era tanks to the Islamist Hezbollah organization to aid in its battle against its enemies.
The paper said that Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Russia have began a “joint operations room” to coordinate their campaign to beat the extremist Islamic State group, which has captured great amounts of Syrian territory during Syria’s four-year civil war, in addition to opposition groups, some of which are linked to al-Qeada, in efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.
During a recent meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu said that Iran and Syria have been arming Hezbollah with advanced weapons, thousands of which are directed at Israeli cities.
“At the same time, Iran, under the auspices of the Syrian army, is attempting to build a second terrorist front against us from the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu also said that he told Putin in “no uncertain terms” that Israel will not tolerate Iran’s efforts to provide weapons to Israel’s enemies in the Middle East and that Israel has taken and will continue to take action against any of these attempts.