Israeli Warplanes Pound Syria After Stray Mortar Crosses Frontier

Syrian Mortar Hit Empty Area Near Minefield

by Jason Ditz, August 22, 2016

Israel launched another round of attacks on southern Syria today, including both airstrikes and artillery fire, after a stray mortar fired by someone inside Syria strayed across the line of control into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The Syrian mortar hit an empty area near an Israeli minefield, doing no damage and causing no casualties. It is as yet unclear what damage was done in Israel’s attacks, but generally speaking such incidents lead to substantial attacks on Syrian military bases, even if they aren’t certain the military fired the mortar.

The area along the frontier is contested between the Syrian military and the Nusra Front, with some smaller rebel groups also attempting to establish a presence in the area. Fighting in the area often sees bullets or mortars straying into Israeli-held territory, leading to such attacks.

Though Israel is nominally neutral in the Syrian Civil War, top officials have repeatedly expressed their opposition to the government surviving the conflict, and officials have at time said they don’t want ISIS to be completely defeated in the fighting there, because it would put Israel “in a hard position.”

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz