by WorldTribune Staff, November 28, 2016
Four gunmen from an Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) affiliate in Syria were killed after they attacked Israeli soldiers in the Golan Heights on Nov. 27.
In the first attack by ISIL against Israel, the four jihadists opened fire with machine guns and mortars. The Israeli soldiers were unhurt and returned fire and the jihadists were killed when their vehicle was destroyed by an Israeli warplane.
The jihadists were said to be from a group called Shuhada al-Yarmouk, which is affiliated with ISIL.
Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, said the soldiers were from the Golani Brigade.
Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, stray shells from Syria have hit Israel but the Nov. 27 incident was the first deliberate attack on Israeli forces by ISIL.
Nitzan Nuriel, a retired Israeli general, said he was baffled by the attack since ISIL had to know “exactly what the Israeli response would be. An Israeli front is the last thing ISIL needs at this stage.”
Nuriel, a former director of Israel’s Counter Terrorism Bureau, said he suspected the attack was the idea of “local hotheads” rather than a change of policy ordered by ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the soldiers who “successfully repelled an attempted attack on the convergence point of three borders.”
He added: “Our forces are prepared on our northern border, and we won’t let ISIL elements or other hostile elements use the cover of the war in Syria to establish themselves next to our borders.”