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Isis and Israel clash for first time after jihadis open fire on IDF

No Israeli soldiers were wounded in the ambush

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 27 November 2016 10:15 GMT
Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres
Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (Reuters)

Israeli forces killed four Isis militants in Syria in the first direct clash between the country and the jihadi group.

The militants opened fire on a military patrol on the Israeli side of the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, a military spokesman said.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said the patrol came under machine gun and mortar fire early on Sunday.

Kurds capture Isis fighter

They returned fire towards Syria before an Israeli aircraft engaged the militants, striking a machine gun-armed car and killing its passengers.

All of the gunmen were suspected militants from "Shuhada al-Yarmouk," an Isis offshoot which controls the area.

Mr Lerner said none of the Israeli soldiers, from the Golani Brigade, were wounded in the clash.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended the troops for thwarting the attack.

"We are well prepared on our northern border and will not allow Islamic State elements or any other hostile elements to use the war in Syria to establish themselves close to our borders," he said at his weekly Cabinet meeting.

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

It has largely been unaffected by the Syrian civil war next door.

While avoiding being drawn into the internal Syrian conflict, Israel attacks Syrian military targets when fire, even unintentional, spills over the demarcation line.

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

Additional reporting by agencies

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