Report: Syria 'got the message' after Israeli return fire

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

Israeli television news reported on Monday that Syrian officials had signaled via third parties that they "got the message" after Israeli forces scored a direct hit on a Syrian army unit in response to cross-border fire.

The Syrian army is currently engaged in a fierce battle with rebel forces in a town very near to the Israel-Syria border. Over the past couple weeks, a number of artillery shells and missiles fired during the course of that battle have landed in Israel. One shell landed in a local village.

Most Israelis officials continue to view the cross-border fire as accidental, though as the incidents continue, that assessment is coming under question.

But accidental or not, Israel cannot allow the cross-border fire to continue, and so when a shell hit an Israeli army base on Sunday, the IDF responded by firing an anti-tank missile just next to a Syrian army unit. On Monday another shell hit Israel, and the IDF responded by directly targeting the Syrian artillery unit that had fired it. Two Syrian soldiers were reportedly wounded.

Israeli officials hope that the Syrian authorities truly have gotten the message and will take far greater care to avoid purported misfires into Israeli territory. Nevertheless, the IDF remains on high alert and the residents of the Golan Heights continue to prepare for an escalation.

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