Connect to share and comment

Syrian tanks enter Golan Heights demilitarized zone

Israel filed a complaint with the UN and increased its alert level in the area Saturday afternoon.

Syria tanks 2012 4 9Enlarge
A Syrian tank crawls up a bombed out street in Saraqeb, the second-largest city in Syria's Idlib Province and the site of some of the latest violence between Syria forces and the Free Syrian Army. (James Foley/GlobalPost)

Syrian tanks entered the Golan Heights' demilitarized zone Saturday afternoon, just a few miles from IDF military positions along the Israeli border.

Israel filed a complaint with the United Nations as a result of the breach, and heightened its alert level in the area, ABC News reported

However, ABC News speculated that "he relatively low-key response suggested Israel did not see the armor as an immediate threat." 

On the other hand, according to GlobalPost's Israel-Palestine correspondent Noga Tarnopolsky, the fact that the Syrian army is using tanks in remote, rural areas is much noted by Israel. 

"It is being interpreted here as a loss of control," Tarnopolsky said. "The IDF is very concerned about the growing threat from opportunistic terror groups and from various post-Assad scenarios." 

More from GlobalPost: Turkish PM Erdogan to visit Gaza to reconcile Hamas, Palestinian Authority

The tanks were identified near Beer Ajam village in the central Golan Heights, which are controlled by Syria. The move is the latest interference by Syria in the Golan, according to Ha'aretz

This past July and September, the Syrian army fried mortar shells at rebel forces which landed in the demilitarized northern Golan Heights, Ha'aretz reported. 

Syria's ongoing conflict has begun to spill over its borders into several of its neighboring countries, most notably Turkey, which has been flooded by Syrian refugees and the target of regular bombings, GlobalPost's Tracey Shelton reported

More from GlobalPost: Syria: Conflict continues to spill over into Turkey

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/121103/syrian-tanks-enter-golan-demilitarized-zone