Israel fires guided missile to warn Syria over shelling
By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel fired a guided missile into Syria on Sunday in a potent "warning shot" after mortar fire from fighting between Syrian troops and rebels hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights for the second time in four days.
Israel Radio said it was the first direct engagement of the Syrian military on the Golan since the countries' 1973 war. It highlighted international fears that Syria's civil war could ignite wider regional conflict.
An Israeli military source said troops fired a Tammuz missile towards a Syrian army mortar crew that had launched a shell which overshot the Golan disengagement fence on Sunday, exploding near a Jewish settlement without causing casualties.
The missile, known internationally as Spike, can be guided to its target by an operator who sees a live video image from an onboard camera in its nose. There were no reported casualties in what was evidently a demonstration of fire-power.
In an official statement, the Israeli military said soldiers had "fired warning shots towards Syrian areas" but did not mention the missile or its target destination.
"The IDF (Israel Defence Force) has filed a complaint through the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity," the statement said.
There was no immediate comment from the 1,000-man United Nations Disengagement Observer Force which patrols the area, and no reaction from Syria.
Spillover violence this month from Syria onto the Golan has jangled the nerves of Israelis worried the once-quiet front will add to threats facing the Jewish state from Islamic militants in neighboring Lebanon, Gaza and Egypt's Sinai. Continued...