Israeli strikes IS-linked Syrian group for second time

Israeli strikes IS-linked Syrian group for second time
The Israeli military has targeted Syrian militants in the occupied Golan Heights for the second time in 24 hours, warning of a 'new threat' by IS.
2 min read
28 November, 2016
Israeli military have occupied the Golan Heights since 1967 [Getty]
Israel's air force targeted gunman linked to the Islamic State group in Syria overnight, the army said Monday, after they fired on an Israeli soldier in the occupied Golan Heights.

"Overnight the (Israeli air force) targeted an abandoned UN building that has been used by the Islamic State [group] as an operations centre along the border in the southern Syrian Golan Heights," an army statement read.

It said the building was the "base for yesterday's attack", which was believed to be the first such direct assault on militants on Israeli soldiers in the Golan Heights since Syria's civil war began in 2011.

The army said Israeli soldiers were targeted on Sunday with machine gun fire and mortars and shot back.

The air force then bombed the vehicle carrying the gunmen, identified as members of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, a Syrian rebel group that pledged allegiance to IS.

Four of the militants were killed, with no Israeli soldiers injured.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the soldiers who "successfully repelled an attempted attack."

"Our forces are prepared on our northern border, and we won't let (IS) elements or other hostile elements use the cover of the war in Syria to establish themselves next to our borders," he said.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 and later annexed it.

The move is viewed as illegal by the international community.

Syria and Israel are still technically at war, though the border had remained largely quiet for decades until 2011 when was broke out in Syria.

Since then regular stray missiles have landed in Israeli controlled territories, but rebel groups and Syrian regime forces have largely avoided directly targeting Israeli forces.

Israel attacks Syrian military targets when fire, even unintentional, spills over the demarcation line.