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Syria

Israel complains over Syrian tanks in Golan Heights

Three Syrian tanks have entered the disputed Golan Heights, Israel claims. Tel Aviv says the presence of such vehicles in the demilitarized zone violates a long-standing ceasefire agreement between the two countries.

 A Syrian army tank is seen in the Khan al-Raslan neighbourhood of Syria's northern city of Aleppo as a unit of the Syrian army carry out a military operation on October 8, 2012. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned of a 'dangerous' fallout from spiralling violence along the Syrian-Turkish border, as regime troops shelled rebel bastions across Syria leaving dozens dead. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Symbolbild syrische Panzer dringen in Sperrgebiet auf Golanhöhen ein

Israeli media said the tanks were involved in fighting in the Syrian village of Beer Ajam against rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

"The Israeli Defence Forces have filed a complaint with the UN (peacekeeping) force in the area," an Israeli military spokeswoman said.

Israel is technically at war with Syria, but it has taken a cautious approach with its Arab neighbor since the uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad began 20 months ago.

The frontier between Israel and Syria has been relatively calm, unlike the Turkish-Syrian border which has witnessed frequent cross-border shelling over the past month.

Errant Syrian mortars landed in Israel in September, spurring Israel to lodge a similar complaint with the United Nations observer force that monitors the long-standing de facto truce between the two countries.

Israel took control of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau, from Syria in 1967 and annexed it in 1981 - a move not recognized internationally.

hc/rc (dpa, Reuters)