Tensions between Israel and Syria have escalated in the past week with incidents of spillover fire, followed by an Israeli retaliation, occurring almost daily. The IDF says it will not tolerate attempts to harm Israel’s sovereignty, but the Syrian leadership has warned of dire consequences.
A rocket that landed in Israel Photo credit: Channel 2 News
It has been an exceptionally volatile week along Israel’s northern border. After a series of spillover fire incidents from Syria, which triggered fierce Israeli responses, the level of tension between the two countries is at a steady rise.
The escalation continued on Saturday, with four rockets landing in isolated areas in northern Israel. The IDF retaliated by attacking three Syrian artillery cannons and later stated, “If incidents like this continue to happen, the Israeli response will become even stronger.”
The IDF’s policy is to deliver an immediate response to any incident along the Syrian border, even if it is spillover fire from the Syrian civil war rather than a deliberate attack on Israel. “We hold the Syrian regime responsible for what happens on its territory,” the IDF said Saturday. “We will not tolerate any attempt to harm the Israeli sovereignty and risk the security of its citizens.”
The Syrian regime not only condemned the Israeli attack, but claimed the shooting toward Israel which prompted it had been “ordered” by the IDF to justify “the continued acts of aggression.” It warned that such incidents could have “dire consequences.”
On Monday, Syrian soldiers launched a missile at Israeli jets that were flying above Lebanon. The IAF retaliated quickly by firing at the battery. IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said the army is “prepared for any scenario” but has no interest in escalating the situation any further. “As far as Israel is considered, the incident has come to an end,” he said then.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued his own response, stressing that Israel will strike back when attacked. “Our jets were under attack, it is unacceptable,” he said.
On Wednesday, Iranian chief of staff Mohammad Baqeri visited Damascus and said Iran and Syria had reached an understanding on how to deal with “our common enemies – the Zionists and the terrorists.”
“It is unacceptable for the Israeli regime to invade Syrian airspace any time it wants,” Baqeri said.