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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Syrian mortar shells land in northern Golan Heights

Numerous mortar shells fired by the Syrian army landed near Kibbutz Elrom in the northern Golahn Heights early Tuesday morning.

There were no casualties reported, and the Israel Defense Forces is investigating the incident. The shells were apparently fired at the Syrian village of Jubata Al Khashab, in response to Syrian rebel activity in the area.

A resident of the nearby village Majdal Shams told Haaretz that loud explosions were heard in the area overnight. “We heard the explosions, and I thought a shell had fallen on our side,” said the resident.

A similar incident occurred roughly two months ago, when a mortar shell landed to the east of the Druze village Mas’ada, in the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria, very close to the Israeli border. "It seems to be linked to the battle which began last Wednesday in the Syrian village of Jubata Al Khashab, between the Syrian army and the rebels," a Mas’ada resident told Haaretz.

Then, an IDF source said that the shelling was intended to hit the rebel forces, and it landed in the demilitarized zone is as a result of a miscalculation of the Syrian forces, who are located in a village not far from the border.

The source noted that in the next round between the army and the rebels, a mortar shell could easily land on the Israeli side of the border, adding that IDF soldiers stationed at the border are prepared for such possibility.

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