An Israeli air strike has killed seven militants believed to be linked to the Islamic State group and seeking to infiltrate the country from the Syrian Golan Heights, the army said Thursday.
The rare incident came as Israel readied itself for Syria regaining complete control of the country’s south near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
A Syrian offensive, backed by Russia, has seen Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces rout rebels and jihadists in the region, sending them fleeing.
On Thursday, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Assad’s gains present advantages for Israel since it would provide a level of stability in the Golan even though the two countries remain technically at war.
Israel’s army said there had been no coordination with Assad’s government before the strike.
The strike was carried out late Wednesday after the militants crossed a ceasefire line and came within a few hundred metres (yards) of the fence in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said.
Later searches turned up the seven bodies, five AK-47 assault rifles, explosive vests and what appeared to be grenades, he added.