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Syrian Minister Defends 'Legitimate Right' to Fire on Israel

An exchange of fire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights raises the question of whether Damascus has adopted a new policy toward Israel and the possibility of an active Golan front.
Israeli soldiers from the Nahal infantry brigade take part in a drill in the Golan Heights, near Israel's border with Syria March 5, 2013. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed the territory in 1981, a move not recognised internationally. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (MILITARY) - RTR3ELLJ
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The Syrian army’s response to the May 21 Israeli violation of the cease-fire line on the Golan represents its first direct retaliation against Israel since the late 1980s.

The Syrian General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces announced in a statement that same day, “[O]ur armed forces destroyed an Israeli vehicle that entered from the occupied territories and crossed the cease-fire line towards the village of Bir Ajam. The village is located in the liberated area of Syrian territories where there are armed terrorist groups.” It also stated, “Following that, the Israeli enemy fired two rockets from the occupied site of Tal al-Faras toward one of our sites in al-Zubaydiah village; no casualties [were] reported.”

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