Israel responds to Syrian attack; Yaalon holds Assad responsible

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Air Force responded to a Syrian attack that left an Israeli teen dead, striking nine Syrian military targets and rocket launching sites.

An Israeli teen was killed and at least two others injured when their vehicle traveling in the Golan Heights near the border with Syria was attacked with explosives fired from inside Syria. The Israeli military believes the attack on the vehicle, carrying civil employees of the military working to strengthen the border fence, was intentional and not fall out from Syria’s three-year long civil war.

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The Israeli military responded late Sunday night, hitting targets belonging to Syria President Bashar Assad. Among the sites hit was a Syrian military headquarters, according to the IDF.

“The Assad regime now sees that it is responsible for the area under its control,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Monday morning after the retaliatory attack. “We will respond aggressively and harshly against any provocation and violation of our sovereignty.”

Yaalon also expressed his condolences for the death of 13-year-old Mohammed Karaka, who died in the Syrian attack on northern Israel and was set to be held Sunday in the Arab-Israeli town of Aarabe.

The Israeli army is investigating the attack, including the cause of the explosion, which is believed to be either the firing of a mortar or the activation of an explosive device.

In March, the Israeli army bombed Syrian military targets after four soldiers were injured in a roadside bomb attack. Earlier this month, the Iron Dome anti-missile system discharged after two mortars from Syria were fired at Israel.

In the past several months, several explosives from Syria have landed in northern Israel as a result of spillover from the civil war.
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