News / Middle East

Israeli Airstrikes in Golan Heights Kill Syrian Soldier

Israeli soldier stands by mobile artillery unit near town of Katzrin, Golan Heights, March 19, 2014.
Israeli soldier stands by mobile artillery unit near town of Katzrin, Golan Heights, March 19, 2014.
VOA News
Israeli airstrikes against Syrian military positions in the Golan Heights killed one soldier and wounded seven in the most serious escalation between the two neighbors since Syria's civil war broke out three years ago.

Syria's military confirmed the casualties from the strikes, which came in response to an attack Tuesday on Israeli forces across the Israeli-Syrian cease-fire line in the Golan.

Both sides issued stark warnings following the incidents.

Israeli military officials said the targets Wednesday included an army training facility, military headquarters and artillery batteries that had "aided and abetted" the earlier attack on an Israeli army patrol.

The bomb attack was the third such incident along Israel’s northern borders in less than two weeks and the first to cause Israeli casualties. Four soldiers were wounded, one severely.

An Israeli military spokesman called the blast "an unacceptable escalation of violence from Syria" and vowed that Israel would not tolerate threats to its forces and people.

In Washington Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Israel has a right to defend itself.  She also urged Israel and Syria to adhere to their 1974 cease-fire agreement that called for the two countries to remove their military forces from the Golan Heights and refrain from fighting.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it.  The strategic plateau has seen occasional spillover violence from the Syrian civil war.

The latest attacks appear to have been carried out in revenge for a series of airstrikes blamed on Israeli forces over the past year against weapons convoys and warehouses, mostly in Syrian territory.

Israeli says it will act to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons from Syria to the Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah militia, which is currently fighting in Syria to aid that government's fight against Sunni rebel forces.

Also Wednesday, Syria and its Russian ally criticized the decision by the United States to suspend the operations of Syria's embassy in Washington and consulates in other cities.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned the action as a violation of international diplomatic conventions, while Moscow called it "worrying and disappointing."

Syria announced on March 10 it would stop providing consular services in the United States. State Department officials said while embassy and consular activities were affected the U.S. was not severing diplomatic relations with Syria.

Meanwhile, aid officials said a U.N. convoy of about 80 trucks prepared to cross the Turkish border into Syria for the first time, a step they hope will pave the way for humanitarian access to the country's most desperate areas.

The U.N. Security Council last month unanimously called for Syrian authorities and rebels to allow prompt access for humanitarian supplies across front lines and borders by the most direct routes.

Last week, Syria granted its approval to the opening of the border crossing and sources said Turkey has also given the delivery the go-ahead.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nikol from: Los Angeles
March 19, 2014 4:43 PM
Yay for Israel:)


by: Anonymous
March 19, 2014 3:38 PM
Noone likes war, this is why assad should of been stopped and arrested long ago and this wouldn't be happening. assads thugs will not arrest him, they risk being killed themselves. thug mentality, dropping barrel bombs in populated areas, buildings with families turned to dust, and assad is exempt from war crimes? Who is arming assad enabling assad to commit these crimes? Crimes on both sides but assad is known to have commited crimes. Sicking a military on your own people is not a leader, it is a coward by all means, and is criminal.


by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
March 19, 2014 2:02 PM
What is the use of increase in pain in poor syrian. No body in this world to give food,energy,shelter,water and other basic needs of life. World famous terrorist with the support of CIVILISED NATIONS playing with human body and no body is their to stop them OR rather they gave money and weapons to increase as much as possible pain and unlimited problems for syrian peoples. This is the reward of good education.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 19, 2014 12:26 PM
Syria weakens itself with the distraction to attack Israel. Surely it's mission impossible for Syria to have a winner its way with Israel. Right now Syria is making progress in its war prosecution, and the best it should do itself is concentrate more effort in that direction before the so-called humanitarian aid of 80 convoy trucks deliver lethal "humanitarian weapons" to al qaida and allied terrorists with which to rout the Syrian army. Certainly Assad has allowed the Hezbollah too much leverage to infiltrate the Golan Heights. Hezbollah must have initiated the attacks. So Assad should make sure there are no Hezbollah fighters in the borderline with Israel, otherwise they will forget the mission of the Syrian civil war to introduce the agenda of the Liberation and/or Resistance. One thing at a time

But Assad should activate its Russian support to forestall the US introduction from the Turkish entry point that can change the winning equation in the civil war, if Assad wants it to end in his favor, and soon too. Remember, Obama has been rethinking his approach to the red line tripping, recently. This maybe his change of tactics, don't let him correct it at your expense; that is that Assad should not be caught napping - it is called a cut-off in military parlance. If possible, the US and allied forces would like to show their dislike for Russia’s intrigue in Ukraine by destabilizing Syria – this is called proxy war. Think Syria has had enough of war and should be winding down rather than having an escalation through firing at Israel.


by: Oleg from: Russia
March 19, 2014 11:56 AM
Israel is literally besieged by evil... and what Obama pressure them to do..?? carve out Israel's heart and give it to the PLO..!!! - an Islamic terrorist organization. Listen, Israel, Putin will never do that to you, Israel. If you want real friends, Israel, come to Russia. Only Russia can make Iran shut up and silenced forever. Only Russia can make Philistines disappear and sent back to Jordan. Only Russia can pulverize Hamas in Gaza. Israel, you come to Russia.


by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
March 19, 2014 8:43 AM
Am proud of Israel's ever quick response to what might escalate if not stopped at its instance, if the US had acted to punish Assad's military by dismantling all air defense system, ammunition depots and heavy equipments when the red line was crossed may be Assad's delegates at the Geneva 2 conference would be talking reasonably, now the friends of Syria are now shifted to friends of Ukraine for now.


by: Phillip from: Rustenburg, South Africa
March 19, 2014 7:38 AM
This was long overdue. I hope the same.happens with the untouchable Russia.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid