Syrian fire hits Golan during Netanyahu visit

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):

11:30 p.m.

Israel’s military targeted a Syrian military post that fired a mortar into the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan Heights during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the area.

Netanyahu was visiting an Israeli town in the Golan Wednesday. He said Israel’s policy is “whoever attacks us, we will attack him.”

The military said the mortar was “errant fire” from Syria and landed in an open area causing no injuries near the border, far from where Netanyahu visited.

It was the latest shell in several such incidents this week.

Israel has tried to stay out of the six-year civil war in Syria. It has carried out airstrikes on suspected weapons convoys to Hezbollah, whose Iran-backed militants are fighting in Syria.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war.


9:30 p.m.

Turkish officials say U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has told his Turkish counterpart that Washington’s decision to back Syrian Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State militants in Syria was out of “necessity” and not by choice.

Mattis met with Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik in Brussels on Wednesday ahead of a NATO meeting.

Turkey has been angered by a U.S. decision to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters which Ankara says are affiliated to Kurdish militants fighting Turkey.

Turkish defense officials said in a statement that Isik reiterated Turkey’s concerns to Mattis. They quoted Mattis as telling Isik that Washington’s ties to the Kurdish fighters were a “temporary, short-term arrangement that derives from necessity and not from choice.”

Last week, Turkish officials said Washington pledged to reclaim weapons provided to the Kurds.


7 p.m.

The U.N. human rights chief is urging world powers fighting the Islamic State group in Raqqa to review their operations after his office tallied at least 173 civilian deaths by air and ground strikes in the Syrian city this month.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein says the…

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