Deadly clashes on Syria-Israel border

By Jennifer Lipman, June 6, 2011
President Bashar Assad

President Bashar Assad

The United States has called for an end to "provocative actions" on the border between Syria and Israel.

The comments by a spokesman for the US State Department followed Sunday’s deadly clashes. Up to 20 people were killed when Syrian protesters attempted to storm the border with the Golan Heights.

An IDF spokesman said shots were fired only after numerous verbal warnings.

"Dozens of Syrians continued to approach the border and IDF forces were left with no choice but to open fire towards the feet of protesters in efforts to deter further actions."

The border clashes came as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime continued their bloody crackdown of anti-government protesters.

In a statement, the US State Department said it was troubled by what had occurred and called for both Syria and Israel to exercise restraint.

"Provocative actions like this should be avoided" it said. “Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself."

The Syrian demonstrators vowed to continue their border protest today.

Last updated: 10:11am, June 6 2011