Israeli troops enter Syria to pursue ‘suspects’

Israeli troops enter Syria to pursue ‘suspects’

JERUSALEM: Israeli forces crossed into Syria on Monday and fired at four individuals who had “hurled objects along the border fence”, wounding one of them, the army said.

Israel, which regularly carries out air strikes inside Syria’s territory, rarely publicly acknowledges cross-border operations.

According to an Israeli army statement, “observation soldiers spotted four suspects” near Haspin in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, without providing any specific information on what they were throwing.

Israel Defence Forces “soldiers were dispatched to the scene, crossed the border and operated… by firing at one of the suspects’ legs,” the statement added.

The wounded suspect, whose condition wasn’t immediately clear, was “evacuated by helicopter to a hospital” in Israel, the army said without mentioning what happened to the other three. Israel rarely comments on its military actions in Syria, save for operations in direct response to what the army considers immediate threats to Israel’s sovereignty.

But Israel has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of air strikes in Syria, targeting both government positions and Iran-backed forces, since civil war broke out in the country in 2011.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

A rocket attack targeting the US military’s Green Village base in northeast Syria failed to hit US or coalition forces, or any equipment, the US Central Command said.

Three 107 mm rockets targeted the base on Sunday and a fourth rocket along with rocket tubes was found at the launch point, about 5 kilometres (3 miles) away, the command said in a statement.

The Green Village base was targeted last month in violence between the US military and Iran-backed militants leaving at least one US military service member in Syria with a minor injury. The incident triggered a US response that killed two or three militants conducting the attacks.

The Central Command said it was investigating the latest failed attack, which struck at approximately 7:05pm local time in Syria.

US forces first deployed in Syria during the Obama administration’s campaign against the militant Islamic State group, partnering with a Kurdish-led group called the Syrian Democratic Forces.

There are about 900 US troops in Syria, most of them in the east.

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