Israel at the weekend officially threatened to attack Syrian tanks if they do not withdraw from the UN-monitored buffer zone that exists between the two nations on the Golan Heights.
Last week, Syrian rebels managed to capture the strategic border town of Quneitra, only to lose it again within hours to a government counter-attack. After regaining Quneitra, the regime of embattled Syrian dictator Bashar Assad moved five tanks and a number of armored vehicles into the demilitarized buffer zone.
Working via the UN agency that monitors the region, Israel sent a firm warning to Syria via the UN Security Council, insisting that if the tanks are not withdrawn, the Israeli army will take action against what it sees as a threat to the nation's border.
The Syrian army reportedly responded that the tanks are in place as part of an ongoing battle with the rebels, and requested that Israel not attack.
The situation appears to be stable at the moment, but the face-off again reinforces how close tensions along Israel's northern borders are to pulling the Jewish state into a full-scale war with its neighbors.
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