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Israeli troops come under fire from Syria

UN estimates 5,000 killed every month

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17 Jul 2013 (All day)
Israeli troops come under fire from Syria

Israeli territory on the Golan Heights was hit by several stray mortar rounds from the fighting over the border in Syria on Tuesday afternoon, causing no deaths or damage. Later in the evening, a routine IDF patrol came under fire near the border, returning fire at a group of unidentified suspects. “Every violation of Israeli sovereignty and firing from the Syrian side will be answered immediately through the silencing of the source of fire when it is identified,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said. “We see the Syrian regime as being responsible for all violations of sovereignty. We won’t allow the Syrian army or any other element to violate Israeli sovereignty by opening fire at our territory.”

“In the past two days there have been battles between the Syrian army and opposition [rebel] forces on the Syrian [part of the] Golan Heights,” Ya’alon continued. “We are continuing with the same policy we set. As soon as there is fire from Syrian territory that endangers us, or enters our territory and violates our sovereignty, we identify the source of fire and destroy it.”

Inside Syria, opposition groups reported that members of a militia loyal to the regime of president Bashar Assad massacred seven Sunni men who were in the central province of Homs on a mission seeking reconciliation in the conflict. Elsewhere, fighting broke out between gunmen from the Al-Qaida linked Al Nusra Front and Kurdish militias in the northern village of Ras Al Ain. Fierce battles were also reported in southern Syria, including near the Quneitra border crossing with Israel.

Spillover of the fighting into neighboring Lebenon also occurred on Tuesday when a roadside improvised explosive device hit a convoy of terrorists belonging to the Lebanese Shi’ite terror militia Hezbollah as it travelled near the Lebanese-Syrian border.

Finally, the UN issued a report Tuesday saying that approximately five thousand people are dying as a result of the war in Syria every month, in addition to the refugees the war is creating which officials said was the worst since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

“The extremely high rate of killings nowadays — approximately 5,000 a month — demonstrates the drastic deterioration of the conflict,” UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic told a Security Council meeting on Syria.

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