First IDF-Islamic State clash sends Israeli message: Don’t mess with us

IDF forces on the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 20, 2015. (Basal Awidat/Flash90)
IDF forces on the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 20, 2015. (Basal Awidat/Flash90)

For years, army officials have warned of attacks by terror groups in Syria; Sunday’s border skirmish in which 4 militants were killed was brief, ‘productive,’ and unlikely to mark a new era.

A short exchange of gunfire between an Islamic State-affiliated terrorist group and Israeli troops on Sunday morning, which ended with an IDF airstrike that killed four militants, represented the first notable clash between the two groups.

But experts do not see it heralding a major shift in the dynamics of the region.

On Sunday morning, at approximately 8:30 a.m., soldiers from the Golani Brigade’s reconnaissance unit crossed the security fence with Syria to conduct an “ambush operation.” While remaining inside Israeli territory, the soldiers came under attack from Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, formerly known as the Yarmouk Martyr’s Brigade, an army spokesperson said.

The soldiers returned small arms fire, but soon came under attack from mortar shells as well. The incident concluded when the Israel Air Force targeted a truck “that had some sort of machine gun on top of it” and killed the four terrorists who were riding in it.

“It was a short exchange, but it was productive,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner concluded.

Source: http://www.timesofisrael.com/first-idf-islamic-state-clash-unlikely-a-gamechanger-experts-say/