Israel's military admits strikes against two Syrian army targets

The rare Israeli admission comes as tensions skyrocket in the north of the country

UN peacekeepers monitoring the Syrian side of the border with Israel. AFP
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Israel’s military admitted on Thursday its forces attacked two Syrian army targets in the Syrian Golan Heights, saying the “temporary structures” violated a 1974 disengagement agreement.

In the rare admission, Israel said its tanks engaged the targets in the Ain Al Tineh area on Mount Hermon.

The strike came a day after Israeli troops identified the structures.

“The [Israeli military] holds the Syrian regime responsible for all activities occurring within its territory and will not allow any attempts to violate Israeli sovereignty,” the military said.

Syria frequently accuses Israel of launching attacks in its territory. Israel’s military does not comment on individual strikes. It has, however, admitted to targetting Iranian interests and proxies in the war-torn country.

Last week, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant hinted Israel had launched air strikes against Syrian targets the day prior.

“Last night, we saw another proof that in Israel, the roar of the jets is greater than all the other noises on the ground,” Mr Gallant said, the evening after Syrian authorities accused Israel of killing two of its soldiers.

In May 1974, both sides signed the disengagement agreement in Geneva, following the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states.

The agreement mapped out areas in which Syrian and Israeli troops would operate, as well as a buffer zone for UN peacekeepers.

Tensions have been especially high in the region during recent months. Israel has accused Lebanon-based terror organisation Hezbollah of a number of provocations.

In April, Palestinian militants in southern Lebanon launched the largest number of rockets into Israeli territory since the devastating 2006 Lebanon war.

Both Hezbollah and Syria’s government are closely aligned with Iran, Israel’s arch enemy.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 3:24 PM