Syrian Tanks Enter Israeli Demilitarized Zone

Three Syrian tanks entered the Golan Heights demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel on Saturday, according to an Israeli military spokeswoman.

The spokeswoman stated that she had no more information about what the tanks were doing but added, according to Reuters:

“The Israeli Defense Forces have filed a complaint with the U.N. [peacekeeping] force in the area.”

The tanks were reportedly involved in fighting between the government and rebels, who have been fighting in the Syrian village of Beer Ajam.

Israel and Syria are technically still at war, because there is no signed armistice between them. Despite this, the Middle Eastern nation has been cautious on its stance about the Syrian conflict.

Syria has broken the demilitarized zone already this year when errant Syrian mortars bombs landed in Israel. This incident also caused Israel to launch a complaint with the UN observer force that monitors the de facto truce between the two nations.

Fox News notes that the complaint is relatively low-key, suggesting that Israel didn’t see the Syrian tanks entering the demilitarized zone as an immediate threat against them.

Despite this, the entry is a concern, because it is the most serious spillover of Syria’s civil war to date at the border between the two nations. Countries that neighbor Syria have experienced a variety of incidents related to the conflict.

Turkey previously exchanged artillery fire with Syria while Jordan has seen shootings at the border. Clashes in Lebanon have also been linked to the Syrian conflict.

Some residents in Syria are concerned about what would happen if President Bashar al-Assad is ousted and the country falls into the hands of Islamic extremists. Islamic fighters have increasingly joined forces with rebels in key engagements against the Assad regime.