Attack on Israeli military vehicle

Violence has flared along the Syria-Israel border zone in the Golan Heights, triggered by a Syrian attack on an Israeli military vehicle, marking yet another escalation that threatens to expand the conflict in Syria beyond its national frontiers.

In the heat of combat, the two sides voiced divergent views on the incident. “Our armed forces have destroyed an Israeli vehicle with everything that it had in it... The vehicle had crossed the ceasefire line and was moving towards the village of Bir Ajam, situated in the liberated Syrian zone” of the Golan, said a Syrian army statement. It added that after the attack “the Israeli enemy fired two rockets from the occupied site of Tal al-Faras toward one of our sites in al-Zubaydiah site; no casualties reported”.

The Israeli military said its troops “returned precise fire” after a Syrian soldier allegedly damaged a military vehicle stationed in Golan Heights, near the border. An Israeli spokesperson told AFP that the shots “most likely were stray bullets, we don’t know if it was intentional”. The Israeli military added that none of its soldiers were injured in the attack. Tuesday’s incident follows a string of reported attacks by Israel on Syria, including the May 5 airstrikes that targeted three military sites outside Damascus, killing at least 42 people.

Some distance away from the Golan, Syrian opposition fighters were locked in a grim battle for control over the strategic town of Qusair — the gateway of supplies and fighters from the Lebanese border into Syria. On Monday, the Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the army had “restored security and stability to most Qusair neighbourhoodsIn the midst of fighting, the opposition is going out of its way to highlight the alleged role of the Lebanese Hizbollah and Iran in support of the government forces. The opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) took the unusual step of holding Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah “personally responsible” for the situation because of his alleged meeting with fighters heading to Qusair.

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