JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike killed four militants on Sunday as they placed an explosive on a fence near Israel’s frontier with Syria in the annexed Golan Heights, an Israeli military source said.
“Four terrorists placed an explosive on a fence near Majdel Shams and an Israeli aircraft shot and killed them,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity, and identifying a village in the territory at the foot of strategic Mount Hermon.
The Israeli military spokesman issued a terse statement saying the air force had thwarted an attack at the Israeli-Syrian border, saying it “targeted the squad, preventing the attack.”
Tensions have risen in the Golan Heights, territory Israel captured from Syria in a 1967 war and later annexed in a move never recognized internationally, amid the civil war raging in Syria in the past four years.
Israel is concerned about the role of Islamist militants seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as Assad’s increasingly strong Lebanese militia ally, Hezbollah, which is backed by Israel’s arch-enemy, Iran.
Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Larry King