U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby stressed Monday night that the Obama administration does not consider the Golan Heights to be part of Israel, one day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed they “will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty.”
“The U.S. position on the issue is unchanged,” Kirby told reporters during a daily briefing at the State Department in Washington. “This position was maintained by both Democratic and Republican administrations. Those territories are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations. The current situation in Syria does not allow this,” Kirby continued.
Israel, a nation roughly as large as New Jersey (the 5th-smallest U.S. state), is the only one at the moment truly not afraid of the Russian bear.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday that Israel is not coordinating its operations in Syria with Russia, as Moscow ramps up its buildup in that country. He spoke after DEBKAfile reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned Israel against attacking Iranian targets in Syria, after a Syrian shell landed on the Golan. “ Continue reading
(Reuters) – Israel said it fired into Syria on Sunday and destroyed a machine gun position in the Golan Heights from where shots had been fired at Israeli soldiers in a further spillover of the Syrian civil war along a tense front.
It was not immediately clear whether Israel held Syrian troops or rebels responsible for what a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said had been a deliberate attack on Israeli patrols in the occupied territory.
Israeli forces “destroyed a Syrian machine gun nest that fired twice in the last 24 hours on Israeli patrols operating to safeguard the border,” the spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said on his Twitter page.
Shells have fallen several times inside Israeli-controlled territory during Syria’s civil war. Some of the incidents have drawn Israeli return fire. Continue reading