Israel says its tanks hit two structures used by Syrian army in Golan area

Reuters  /  September 21, 2023  

JERUSALEM  –  Israel’s military said on Thursday that its tanks had struck two “temporary structures” used by the Syrian army in the area of the Golan Heights in violation of a 1974 disengagement accord.

“The strike was carried out after IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers identified the two structures in the area of the security zone yesterday,” the military said.

“The IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for all activities occurring within its territory and will not allow any attempts to violate Israeli sovereignty,” it said.

The announcement from Israel’s military came after at least two people were killed while riding a motorcycle near the Syrian town of Beit Jinn, about an hour north of where the tanks struck, according to two Palestinian sources and one Lebanese security source.

The two Palestinian sources accused Israel of conducting a strike to target the two men, whom the sources identified as militants.

The Syrian government did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters on both incidents.

Israel’s military declined to comment on the reported motorcycle strike.

Syria and Israel are formally at war, though a 1974 U.S.-brokered disengagement agreement has kept the frontier largely quiet.

Israel over the past decade has been carrying out air strikes against suspected Iranian-sponsored weapons transfers and personnel deployments in neighbouring Syria.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Maya Gebeily; editing by Gareth Jones