Israel Returns Fire From Syria

Posted November 18th, 2012 at 5:45 am (UTC-5)
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The Israeli military says its artillery has fired into Syria in response to gunfire aimed at Israeli troops in the Golan Heights.

It was not immediately clear if there were casualties in Syria. Israel says none of its troops were injured in the initial incident.

Israel has lodged a complaint with the United Nations about the incident which is the latest in several exchanges during the past week.

Meanwhile, France has invited Syria's new opposition coalition to appoint an ambassador to Paris.

French President Francois Hollande met Saturday with Maath al-Khatib, the first leader of a new Syrian coalition that has united the disparate factions fighting to end the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Officials say Monzer Makhous, an academic, is expected to fill the ambassador post. However, it is unclear if the appointment will happen before a transitional Syrian government is formed.

France is the first Western country to recognize the opposition coalition.

The 20-month Syrian conflict began as a protest movement against the rule of President Assad. An estimated 36,000 people have died as the government crackdown against protesters developed into a full-blown civil war.