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For A Second Day Israel Hits Targets In Syria As Shells Land in The Golan


Free Syrian Army fighters fire rockets towards government forces in the northern countryside of Quneitra, in the Golan, June 17, 2015

The Israeli military on Sunday said it attacked a series Syrian army targets, after several projectiles from neighboring Syria landed in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights for a second day.

The Syrian shells hit an open area in the northern Golan Heights, causing no injuries.

The military said it targeted two Syrian artillery positions and an ammunition truck. There were no immediate reports of casualties. But as an added precaution, the military instructed Israeli civilians from gathering in open areas in the border area. On Saturday also citizens were told to stay away from the border.

It was the second straight day that Israel responded to what it has described as errant fire from Syria. Israel has tried to stay out of the six-year civil war in Syria and refrained from taking sides, but has responded to spillover fire on numerous occasions.

Syria's military later said in a statement that Israel had attacked one of its military posts in support of terrorist groups, as it describes the jihadist rebels it is fighting in that area.

"Our policy is clear: We will not tolerate any spillover or trickle whatsoever — neither mortars nor rockets, from any front," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday. "We will respond strongly to any attack on our territory or our citizens."

He also said Israel views "with utmost gravity" Iranian attempts to gain a foothold in Syria or to provide advanced weapons to Hezbollah, its Lebanese proxy.

In Saturday's fighting, Israeli aircraft struck various positions, destroying two tanks, in response to more than 10 projectiles that landed in its territory, the military said. Syrian state media said a number of people were killed and, citing the Syrian military command, said five soldiers were wounded. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war. It subsequently annexed the strategic plateau overlooking northern Israel, but that annexation is not international recognized.

Reporting by AP, Reuters
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