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September 16, 2016

For the sixth time in one week, northern Israel was targeted from Syrian territory on Wednesday evening.

A mortar grenade exploded in an open field in the northern part of the Israeli Golan Heights causing no casualties or damage, the Israeli Army reported.

The latest attack led to a temporary closure of the main highway on the eastern part of the Golan Heights and caused the State Department to issue a travel warning for U.S. citizens and a temporary travel ban on the mountainous plateau for all U.S. personnel in Israel.

 U.S. government employees requested to refrain from “personal travel into the area north of Route 87 and east of Route 918 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights,” the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv said in a statement.

Israeli and other media still report about such attacks as if they were accidents caused by errant fire during a battle between the Syrian army and local rebel groups.

However, another incident on Tuesday showed he mortar attacks are part of a deliberate attempt to heat up Israel’s northeastern border.

 Early on Tuesday morning, Israeli warplanes retaliated for another mortar attack and launched attacks on positions of the Syrian army and its Shiite allies close to the Israel border — something that has happened virtually every time Israel was attacked from Syrian soil.

This time, however, there was an immediate Syrian response and two S-200 surface- to-air missiles were fired at the Israeli planes.

The Assad regime immediately took responsibility for the attacks and issued a statement claiming its army had downed one of the Israeli fighter jets and accused Israel of “naked aggression.”

The IAF denied the Syrian claim and said in a statement that both warplanes together with their pilots had returned safely to Israel.

Western Jounalism

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.