Israeli rockets strike targets in Syria in retaliation for killing of teenager

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JERUSALEM — Is­raeli war­planes and rock­ets struck nine tar­gets in Syria early Mon­day in re­tal­i­a­tion for a mis­sile at­tack Sun­day from Syria that killed an Is­raeli teen­ager and wounded his father along the bor­der in the Golan Heights.

An Is­raeli De­fense Forces spokes­man said Mon­day that Is­rael fired guided mis­siles from the ground and rock­ets from the air that hit sites in Syria, in­clud­ing a mil­i­tary com­mand head­quar­ters. The Is­rae­lis would not say where in Syria the tar­gets were lo­cated.

Over the past three years, Is­rael has at­tacked weapon trans­fers in Syria that it says were in­tended for the Leb­a­non-based Shi­ite mil­i­tary wing of Hez­bol­lah. Is­rael also has fired at Syr­ian army tar­gets af­ter cross-bor­der fire orig­i­nated in Syria.

While the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment did not com­ment on the air­strikes Mon­day, the Brit­ain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Human Rights said at least 10 Syr­ian sol­diers had been killed. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Rami Ab­dur­rah­man said the Is­raeli strikes had de­stroyed two tanks, two ar­til­lery bat­ter­ies and the head­quar­ters of Syria’s 90th bri­gade, The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported.

On Sun­day, the Is­raeli teen­ager was killed and two other ci­vil­ians were in­jured in what the Is­raeli mil­i­tary called an in­ten­tional cross-bor­der at­tack from Syria into the Is­raeli-con­trolled Golan Heights.

The at­tack was the most sub­stan­tial in­ci­dent on Is­rael’s bor­der with Syria since the con­flict in that coun­try erupted more than three years ago, said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Is­raeli mil­i­tary spokes­man. The Is­raeli army re­sponded with tank fire on Syr­ian mil­i­tary tar­gets across the bor­der.

“This is not a case of er­rant fire, but of an in­ten­tional at­tack,” Col. Lerner said. He said an an­ti­tank mis­sile was fired, but that it was still un­clear who was be­hind the at­tack. Both the Syr­ian army and rebel groups fight­ing the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad are said to be sta­tioned in the area.

Is­raeli news me­dia iden­ti­fied the teen­ager as Mo­ham­med Kar­aka, 13, from the Gal­i­lee vil­lage of Ar­raba. His father, a worker con­tracted by Is­rael’s De­fense Min­is­try, had been de­liv­er­ing wa­ter to a con­struc­tion site near the bor­der fence when their ve­hi­cle was struck, the army said.

On Sun­day af­ter­noon, the Is­raeli army filed a for­mal com­plaint with the U.N. peace­keep­ing force sta­tioned along the Is­raeli-Syr­ian bor­der, claim­ing that the in­ci­dent was in breach of the cease-fire agree­ment be­tween the two sides. Is­rael has ad­min­is­tered the Golan Heights since cap­tur­ing the ter­ri­tory from Syria in 1967.

syria - israel - United States military - United States government - Middle East - Bashar Assad - Syria government - Israeli armed forces - Israel government - Syrian armed forces


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