A report in a Syrian newspaper indicated a possible attempt by the regime in Damascus to downplay the fact that Israel
fired a missile
towards the country for the first time since 1973.
Al-Watan, a paper associated with Syrian President Bashar Assad's
government, released a series of testimonies made by residents of the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, who claim that they never heard a missile exploding at a post belonging to the Syrian security forces. Several mortar shells were fired from the post on an IDF
base days after a mortar hit the Israeli town of Alonei HaBashan.
The report briefly mentioned that a missile "was said to have been fired" as a warning.
The newspaper further featured a caricature of an Israeli soldier saying: "We reserve the right to retaliate at the appropriate time and place." A caption mentioned mortar shells hitting "areas in the occupied Golan."
Caricature of Israeli soldier
Sunday morning saw a 120mm mortar shell hit the eastern Golan Heights, prompting the IDF to return fire for first time since the Yom Kippur War.
The missile fired by the IDF was an advanced Tammuz missile, an advanced electro-optic missile, based on Spike long-range missile technology.
The missile fire drew a harsh response from the rebels in Syria,
who accused Israel of interfering on the Assad regime's behalf. A report by Turkey's Anadolu news Agency quoted a statement issued by the FSA saying that Sunday's incident was aimed to help the Assad regime in his war against opposition forces.
Meanwhile, residents of Israel's north braced for escalation, with Golan municipalities making efforts to open shelters and examine their viability.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
discussed the tension with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz on Sunday night, and later said that Israel "is ready for any development on the Syrian border."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak
further warned that the next attack "will trigger a tougher response, and will come at a cost to Syria."