Israel attacks Syrian post after stray shell crosses border

Israeli aircraft attacked a Syrian artillery post on Saturday after a stray shell from fighting in Syria’s civil war landed inside the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Israel’s military said.

The shell landed just across the border, causing no injuries, and in retaliation the air force targeted “artillery positions of the Syrian regime”, the military said.

The Israeli military has responded similarly in the past when mortar fire from Syria’s war has landed in the Golan, territory that Israel captured from Syria in a 1967 war.

Syrian state television quoted a Syrian military source as saying the Israeli strike was aimed at helping an offensive by hardline Islamist rebels who had launched an offensive against Syrian troops.

Israel has largely stayed on the sidelines of Syria’s civil war, keeping watch over the Golan Heights frontier and occasionally carrying out air strikes or returning mortar fire if there is a specific threat.