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Israel Says Aircraft Strikes in Syria After Errant Syrian Fire

REUTERS – Israeli aircraft attacked a target in Syria on Monday after errant fire from fighting among factions in Syria struck inside Israel, Israel’s military said.

The Syrian fire had hit an open area near the border causing no injuries, and in retaliation the air force “successfully targeted the source of the fire in Syria”, said an army spokeswoman.

The Syrian army said two missiles from Israeli reconnaissance planes hit a residential building in Baath City in the Syrian Golan Heights, near the border with Israel.

The army statement, carried on state news agency SANA, said the strikes on the city caused “material damage” and said they were aimed at “raising the morale of terrorist groups it (Israel) supported” after losses inflicted by the Syrian army.

The town is held by pro-Syrian government forces, including the army and Hezbollah fighters. The al Qaeda offshoot the Nusra Front, Western-backed rebels, and groups which have pledged allegiance to Islamic State also operate in the region.

Though formally neutral in the civil war, Israel has targeted Hezbollah officials and arms convoys inside Syria several times during the conflict.

Syrian rebels and a monitoring group said two explosions that struck the same town on Wednesday were caused by an Israeli air strike but Lebanon’s Hezbollah blamed rocket fire by al Qaeda-linked militants. Israel declined to comment at that time.

Israel captured the western Golan in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it, a move not recognized internationally.

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