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Middle East

Israel bombs Syria's Golan after blast

Army launches strikes in Syria after roadside bomb wounds four of its soldiers patrolling the occupied Golan Heights.

Last updated: 19 Mar 2014 04:39
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Israel captured the Golan in 1967 and annexed the strategic area in a move the world has not recognised [Reuters]

Israel has attacked several Syrian military sites after a roadside bombing that wounded four of its troops in the occupied Golan Heights, the Israeli military said.

It said targets of Wednesday's airstrikes included a Syrian military headquarters, a training facility and artillery batteries.

Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said aircraft carried out the overnight strikes in retaliation of Tuesday's bombing. 

He described targets as military facilities on the Syrian-held side of the Golan.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Jerusalem, said Israel carried out the attacks because it believed that those who activated the explosive device against its soldiers operated from Syrian territory.

Lerner said the patrol noticed "suspicious movement" along the frontier, and when they went to investigate, the blast went off. The army later added that one of the soldiers was seriously wounded.

Israel blamed Damascus for the roadside bombing, though parts of the Syrian-held side of the Golan are controlled by rebels, including al-Qaeda-inspired armed groups hostile to Israel.

Israel says Lebanese Hezbollah fighters helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad battle the insurgency have a presence on the Golan.

"We see the Syrian army as responsible, and that is indicated by our response to the attack," Lerner said.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in 1967 and annexed the strategic plateau in a move the world has not recognised.

Violence in Syria has spilled over the frontier in the past but Tuesday's casualties were the worst Israel has suffered there since the Syrian uprising began three years ago, Lerner said.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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