Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Israeli aircraft hit Syrian military

By
From page A2 | March 19, 2014 |

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli warplanes unleashed a series of airstrikes on Syrian military posts early Wednesday, killing one soldier and wounding seven in one of the most serious clashes between the countries in the past four decades.

The airstrikes came in retaliation for a roadside bombing a day earlier in the Golan Heights that wounded four Israeli soldiers on patrol along the tense frontier with Syria. The overnight raids marked a sharp escalation of activity for Israel, which largely has stayed on the sidelines during Syrian President Bashar Assad’s battle against rebels trying to topple him.

It is unclear which of the many groups fighting in Syria may have planted Tuesday’s bomb. But Israel has said it holds Assad responsible for any attacks emanating from his country, and accused his forces of allowing the attack to take place.

“Our policy is clear. We hurt those who hurt us,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Assad would “regret his actions” if attacks continue.

Israel captured the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau overlooking northern Israel, from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war. It later annexed the area, though that move is not internationally recognized.

Gunfire and mortar shells from the fighting in Syria have occasionally landed in the Golan in recent years. Israel has said much of the fire was errant, but has responded with artillery fire in several cases in which it believed the attacks were intentional. None of those reprisals, however, were as intense as Wednesday’s airstrikes.

The Israeli military said its warplanes hit a Syrian army training facility, an army headquarters and artillery batteries. Israel also had carried out artillery strikes against Syrian military targets shortly after Tuesday’s bombing.

The Syrian military said the raids early Wednesday targeted three army posts near the town of Quneitra, on the edge of the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan. It confirmed the death of one soldier and said seven were wounded.

The Syrian army denounced the airstrikes as Israel’s “desperate attempt to escalate and worsen the situation” and to divert attention from Damascus’ advances on the battlefront, especially the military’s capture last weekend of a key rebel stronghold near the Lebanese border.

“Repeating such hostile acts would endanger the security and stability of the region and make it open to all possibilities,” a Syrian military statement said.

Analysts said they did not expect the situation to deteriorate, since neither Israel nor Syria is interested in a full-fledged war. Assad is focused on his battle against the rebels and Israel has little desire to upset a period of relative quiet. Syria’s ally, Hezbollah, possesses tens of thousands of rockets and missiles aimed at Israel.

Even so, the area has seen an increase in tensions in recent weeks.

Last week, a roadside bomb exploded near an Israeli military patrol along the Lebanese border, causing no injuries. Israel responded with tank and artillery fire at suspected Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.

Earlier this month, the Israeli army said it killed two militants affiliated with Hezbollah — whose forces are fighting in Syria alongside Assad’s troops — as they were trying to plant a bomb along the frontier.

Also, an Israeli airstrike last month reportedly targeted a suspected Hezbollah weapons convoy in northeastern Lebanon, though officials in Israel never confirmed it. Hezbollah said it would retaliate for the airstrike, which killed a Hezbollah official overseeing the operation, according to a senior Lebanese security official speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Israel has stopped short of blaming Hezbollah for Tuesday’s bombing. Israel and Hezbollah are bitter enemies. They fought a monthlong war in 2006 that ended in a stalemate, and both sides have been gearing up for another confrontation.

Israel has said it will not allow sophisticated weapons to flow from Syria to the Iranian-supported Hezbollah. Since the Syrian war broke out, Israel has carried out a series of airstrikes in Syria that destroyed weapons shipments believed to be headed to Hezbollah.

While the Israel and Syria have largely refrained from direct confrontation since the 1973 Mideast war, Israel has shown a readiness to act.

In 2007, Israeli warplanes bombed a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria, and on two previous occasions, Israeli warplanes buzzed over Assad’s palace in a show of strength. In one case, it sought to send a message following a Hezbollah attack that killed an Israeli teenager. In the other, it responded to the capture of an Israeli soldier by Syrian-backed militants who whisked him into the Gaza Strip. In 2003, Israel also bombed a training camp belonging to a Syrian-backed militant group that had carried out a suicide bombing in Israel.

Though relations between the countries remain hostile, the ruling Assad family has kept the frontier with the Israeli-held Golan quiet for most of the past four decades. Israel is concerned that an ouster of Assad could see power in Syria fall to Islamic militants there, particularly al-Qaida-linked groups, and further destabilize the region.

Israeli soldiers also have brought more than 750 wounded Syrians into the country for treatment.

Israeli analyst Ephraim Kam said neither Syria nor Israel want war, and that Hezbollah and Israel are interested in only limited confrontations.

“What can Israel achieve by going to war?” asked Kam, a researcher at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies. “Syria is not in a position to go to war now, with civil war taking place.”

————

By Daniel Estrin. Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Red Cross honors community heroes

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Winter produce available at Sutter market

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Donations to be distributed during homeless count

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Speaker will share computer security tips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

 
Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Music and Words Festival events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

 
Davis, Woodland are saving water

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

.

Forum

Family isn’t keen on relationship

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

 
 
Caring for the aging mouth

By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

 
We have the right to choose

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

We don’t have to suffer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
City helped immensely

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

 
From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD men take two tennis matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

 
Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

 
UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

 
Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

Thomas George Byrne

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8