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Israeli forces kill four Islamic State militants in Syria

"We are well prepared on our northern border, and will not let Daesh or any other group a foothold for their war in Syria," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

By Brooks Hays
Israeli forces kill four Islamic State militants in Syria
Israeli soldier view the Israeli-Syrian border from Mt. Bental overlooking the Israel annexed Golan Heights. Gun fire and mortars have periodically crossed the border as a result of the ongoing civil war in Syria. Photo by Debbie Hill/ UPI | License Photo

GOLAN HEIGHTS, Israel, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Four militants are dead after Israeli forces responded to a barrage of bullets hailed from across the border in Syria.

The killed militants were members of a local terror cell liked with the Islamic State. The Khalid ibn al-Walid Army is comprised of several jihadist factions, all of whom have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. They control a small portion of Syria southeast of Golan Heights.

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The Israeli Air Force took out the Islamic State combatants with a series of air strikes after the terrorists fired weapons across the border at a military outpost in southern Golan Heights.

Several mortar shells exploded across the border before Israeli forces spotted a heavily armed vehicle. Israeli soldiers returned fire before IAF bombs struck the vehicle and killed the four operatives. No Israeli soldiers were injured during the exchange.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended the soldiers at a special cabinet meeting, but offered no new details about the incident.

"We are well prepared on our northern border, and will not let Daesh or any other group a foothold for their war in Syria," Netanyahu said.

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Mortar and projectile fire have previously spilled across the border in the Golan Heights as a result of the ongoing civil war in Syria, but the latest attack appeared to be have purposefully directed at Israel.

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"The Israeli forces didn't lie in ambush by chance," a senior military officials told Haaretz.

Nitzan Nuriel, a counterterrorism expert and former brigadier general with the IDF, told the Washington Post he didn't think that attack signaled a new ISIS-directed campaign against Israel.

"I think the decision to open fire against our soldiers was a local decision," he said. "It was not something ordered by a high command."

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Israeli officials have asked locals to momentarily evacuate the border area near the recent attack.

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