Israel attacks Syrian positions in Golan Heights

JERUSALEM — Israeli airstrikes against several Syrian army positions across the decades-old cease-fire line in the Golan Heights on Wednesday came as a specific response to a bomb attack against Israeli forces along the frontier a day earlier, according to Israeli officials.

But for many here, the unusually sharp exchange signaled the possibility of a broader Israeli slide into the regional turmoil.

The airstrikes, against a Syrian army training facility, a military headquarters, and artillery batteries, were the first in Syrian territory that Israel has openly acknowledged since the Syrian civil war began three years ago. The bomb attack on Tuesday that prompted the strikes was the first to cause Israeli casualties, wounding four soldiers, one severely. Both events raised the stakes along a frontier that has been mostly quiet for 40 years.


The Syrian armed forces said in a statement quoted by the official Syrian news agency, SANA, that the airstrikes killed one person and wounded seven. The statement described the Israeli attacks as a breach of the separation-of-forces agreement that has been in place since the cease-fire that was reached after the 1973 war, which left a portion of the strategic Syrian plateau under Israeli control.

The statement added that the Syrian leadership viewed Israel’s “new aggression” as an attempt to divert attention from the recent victories of the Syrian army.