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Israeli aircraft struck Syrian army positions early Tuesday after stray fire from its war-torn neighbour hit the Israeli-held zone of the Golan Heights the previous day, the military said.

The Israeli strike targeted “artillery positions of Syrian Regime in the central Syrian Golan Heights” in response to “a projectile” which on Monday had hit the northern Golan causing no injuries, an army statement said.

A military spokeswoman told AFP Monday’s projectile was most likely not intentional, rather spillover from “internal fighting in Syria.”

It was the fourth such incident in nine days, and came as a new Syrian ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States came into force on Monday.

The initial 48-hour truce does not apply to areas held by jihadists such as the Islamic State group.

The Israeli army holds the Syrian government accountable for any fire from its territory, regardless of its source.

There were similar events in July and previously.

Israel has sought to avoid being drawn into Syria’s complex war which is now in its sixth year, but it has attacked Syrian military targets when fire from the conflict spills over.

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

Conflicting reports 

The Syrian regime claimed it downed one Israeli plane . The Syrian Ministry of Defense issued a statement claiming that it downed one Israeli fighter plane and one drone, but the Israeli army quickly denied Syria’s claim .

The Syrian statement said Israeli warplanes attacked a Syrian army position in al-Quneitra. It said that Syrian air defense shot down a warplane southwest of al-Quneitra, near the Golan Heights, and shot down a drone west of the town of SaaSaa.
The statement says the incident occurred at 1:30 am local time Tuesday (6:30pm ET Monday).
But Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner denied that a warplane was shot down.
He said that “overnight two surface-to-air missiles were launched from Syria after the mission overnight to target Syrian artillery positions. At no point was the safety of IDF aircraft compromised.”
It remains unclear if the IDF is also denying that a drone may have been shot down.
On Monday, an official IDF Twitter account reported that “Earlier today, a projectile launched from #Syria, hit the northern Israeli Golan Heights. No injuries have been reported.”
Last week, three projectiles landed in the Israeli occupied Golan from Syria, indicating the fighting near al-Quneitra has intensified.

TIME/ YL/ CNN

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