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Israel bombs Syrian posts over attack on troops

world Updated: Mar 19, 2014 11:12 IST

Reuters
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Israel attacked several Syrian military sites on Wednesday in retaliation for a roadside bombing that wounded four of its troops on the occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday, the Israeli military said.

It said targets included a Syrian military headquarters, a training facility and artillery batteries. Aircraft carried out the overnight strike, said lieutenant-colonel Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman. He described targets as military facilities on the Syrian-held side of the Golan.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 war and annexed it in a move not recognised abroad. Tuesday's wounding of the soldiers as they patrolled the separation line on the strategic plateau marked Israel's worst casualties there since an insurgency erupted in Syria more than three years ago.

Israel blamed Damascus for the roadside bombing, though parts of the Syrian-held side of the Golan are controlled by rebels, including al Qaeda-inspired militants hostile to the Jewish state. Israel says Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad battle the insurgency have a presence on the Golan.

Spillover violence on the Golan from the civil war has often drawn Israeli return fire against Syrian positions, ending what had previously been a stable, decades-old stand-off between the foes.