EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

November 4, 2012

Syrian tanks enter demilitarized Israeli frontier

BEIRUT (AP) — Three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone in the Golan Heights yesterday, Israel said, raising concerns violence from Syria’s civil war could heat up a long-quiet frontier that has not seen such an incursion in nearly 40 years.

Israel complained to U.N. peacekeepers present in the area, a relatively low-key response that suggested it did not see the Syrian armor as an immediate threat. But the entry marks the most serious spillover of Syria’s turmoil to date at the frontier, where stray ordnance has exploded on the Israeli side in the past.

Neighboring countries are dealing with a variety of incidents linked to the conflict — Turkey exchanged artillery fire with Syria for a week last month, while Jordan has seen several shootings at the border and clashes linked to the uprising against President Bashar Assad have broken out in Lebanon.

Some in Israel worry that that if Assad goes, the country could fall into the hands of Islamic extremists or descend into sectarian warfare that would destabilizing the region. Islamic fighters — some from abroad — are increasingly taking part in key engagements alongside the rebels.

Inside Syria yesterday for example, Islamic militants took part in a dawn assault on a strategic airbase in the north of the country. The attack, reported by activists, aimed to disrupt strikes by government warplanes and helicopters that are pounding rebel-held towns.

Anti-regime activist group The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack on the Taftanaz air base continued into the evening, although Syria’s state-run SANA news agency said the fighting was over and government troops had repelled a “terrorist attack.” The government considers the rebels terrorists and pawns in a foreign plot to destroy the country.

Fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaida-inspired Islamic militant group made up of foreign jihadis, had joined in the assault, said the Observatory, which relies on reports from activists on the ground. Al-Nusra fighters, who are considered among the most experienced and disciplined among the forces fighting to topple Assad, have led attacks on other airbases in the north in recent months.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
Four Kids, Two Adults Shot Dead Near Houston Connecticut Boy Dies Inside Parked Car World's Tallest Water Slide: See It for Yourself Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup' APNewsBreak: Different Attackers in Benghazi? Obama: 'Photo Ops' Won't Solve Border Crisis Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Dozens Gain Citizenship As Debate Continues Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Children of Deported Parents Speak Out GOP: Immigration a 'human Rights Issue' Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Sen. McCain Slams Officials Over Cell Phone Rule Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Tornadoes Kill Four in Central New York McCaskill: Campus Assault Survey Is Wake Up Call Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver
Latest World News
Today in History for July 10th APNewsBreak: Different Attackers in Benghazi? Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Raw: Fans Gather for Argentina-Netherlands Match Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage Typhoon Nears Japan's Main Islands Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding Today in History for July 9th Raw: Palestinians Clash With Israeli Forces Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss Raw: Stampede in Rio During World Cup Germany Crushes Brazil in 7-1 Win at World Cup Raw: Brazil Fans Leaving Stadium Before Half Raw: Panic in Tel Aviv As Siren Warns of Attack Raw: Fans Gather for Brazil-Germany Semifinal Israeli Military Steps Up Gaza Offense Pistorius Defense Team Closes Case Raw: Israeli Airstrike Kills 10 in Gaza Strip
Photos of the Week