*By Ze’ev Ben-Yechiel*

*Tazpit News Agency*

An Israeli officer in the Golan Heights was injured this morning

(Wednesday, August 27) by stray fire coming from Syria, and a number of

evacuations were ordered in the area as fighting in the Syrian civil war

continues to spill over into Israel. Israeli forces retaliated several

hours later with an artillery strike against Syrian forces.

Shortly before noon, an IDF officer serving in an observation post in the

area was injured by mortar fire from the Syrian side. The officer was

evacuated to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where he is reported to be in

moderate condition.

A number of Israeli farms in the Golan Heights were evacuated Wednesday

morning, following intensified fighting between the Syrian army and rebel

forces in the near the border. The Golan Regional council reported that

workers in farms in the Kuneitra Valley were ordered to move away from

areas near the border fence due to concerns that the fighting in Syria

would spill over into Israeli territory.

Reports also indicated that the lookout point on Mt. Avital, adjacent to

Kibbutz Ein Zivan and overlooking the Syrian town of Kuneitra across the

border, was also evacuated of civilians. Additional measures included the

evacuation of Avital Volcanic Park and the closure of the northern section

of Highway 98.

In retaliation for today’s stray mortar fire, IDF forces fired a salvo of

artillery at the Syrian position believed to be responsible for launching

the mortar. The strike was confirmed by the IDF. The Israeli military

maintains a policy of holding the Syrian government responsible for any

fire that enters Israeli territory.

In the latest flare-up near the border, locals reported hearing explosions

from tank or mortar shells since early morning, coming from the direction

of Kuneitra. Tuesday morning, several mortar shells from the fighting in

Syria exploded in the town of Aloni Bashan in the Golan Heights. No

injuries were reported in that incident.

Kuneitra has been the scene of multiple battles between the Syrian army and

opposition forces. Following its brief capture by the rebels in 2013 it

fell back into government hands, and remains the last pocket of government

resistance in the Golan Heights region of Syria.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here