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Middle East

Israel warns Assad after Golan Heights blast

Defence Minister Yaalon says Syria government accountable for bombing of Israeli patrol in occupied northern territory.

Last updated: 19 Mar 2014 11:42
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Tuesday's explosion in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights wounded four Israeli soldiers [Reuters]

Israeli defence minister has warned the Syrian government that it would pay a "high price" for helping armed groups bent on attacking his country.

Moshe Yaalon comments on Wednesday came a day after roadside bombing, blamed on Damascus, wounded four Israeli troops in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the ceasefire line with Syria.

Israeli air force responded 12 hours later by bombing Syrian military targets, killing one soldier, according to a statement from the Syrian army.

Yaalon said his country considers the regime of President Bashar al-Assad responsible for what is happening under its authority.

"And if it continues to cooperate with terror elements who seek to harm Israel, we will make it pay a high price," he said.

Syria's forces are supported in their battle against rebels seeking to topple Assad by fighters from Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese Shia movement which battled Israel to a bloody stalemate in a 2006 war.

"We will not put up with any breach of our sovereignty or attack on our soldiers or citizens, and we will react with determination and force against anyone acting against us, at any time and any place, as we have done overnight," Yaalon said in a statement.

"Whoever tries to harm us takes his fate in his hands."

Meanwhile, the Syrian army, in its statement on Wednesday, warned Israel against escalating the situation by repeating such "hostile acts" that "endanger the security and stability of the region".

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