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IDF fires artillery into Syria after errant rocket lands within Israeli border

The Israeli Defense Force says the rocket is the second to mistakenly land inside Israeli territory in two days.

By
Fred Lambert
Israeli soldiers fire artillery shells into Gaza on July 18, 2014, from a field near Sderot in southern Israel. The IDF released a statement Sunday saying it had fired artillery at military positions in Syria after a rocket was mistakenly fired into Israeli territory. File photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
Israeli soldiers fire artillery shells into Gaza on July 18, 2014, from a field near Sderot in southern Israel. The IDF released a statement Sunday saying it had fired artillery at military positions in Syria after a rocket was mistakenly fired into Israeli territory. File photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

JERUSALEM, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Israel shot artillery into Syria on Sunday after a rocket mistakenly landed inside its border in the Golan Heights, the Israeli military said.

The projectile reportedly detonated in a field and caused no casualties -- similar to an incident on Saturday which had the same result.

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The Israeli Defense Force responded by striking two Syrian military artillery positions across the border.

The IDF released a statement saying the rocket was launched "due to the internal fighting in Syria," and that it holds the "Syrian military responsible for all events stemming from its territory and will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israel's sovereignty and the safety of its residents."

The Jerusalem Post quoted Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon as saying the stray missiles represented the "crossing of a red line" and that "Israel has no intention of ignoring such incidents."

Israel says it does not support any side in Syria's four-year-old civil war and has sought to stay out of the conflict, but it occasionally fires into the country after errant projectiles land within its borders or when it perceives a threat by militant groups.

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Last month, the IDF conducted a series of airstrikes against 14 sites in Syria's Golan Heights in retaliation for rockets that landed near a village in northern Israel. Jerusalem blamed the rocket fire on Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, which denied the allegations.

The IDF in April reportedly bombed Scud missile depots manned by Hezbollah fighters and government forces in Syria's al-Qalamoun area, on the border between Syria and Lebanon, following a series of Hezbollah advances on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

In August 2014, Israeli military officials said they shot down an unmanned drone that flew across the border from the Quneitra region in Syria. The IDF released a similar statement at the time, saying it would "not tolerate a breach of the state of Israel's sovereignty."

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