Military exercises conducted by the Israeli army have set fire to thousands of acres of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, destroying plant life in the region.
Firefighting teams put out the fire on more than 17,000 acres, Israeli news outlet Ynet reported on Thursday.
"Unfortunately this was a huge fire that caused a very big natural disaster, for animals as well as plants," said Fire Department spokesman Yair Elkayam.
The five-day-long military maneuvers, dubbed Turning Point 4, began Sunday and were conducted in 68 cities and towns.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and annexed in 1981. The move has never been recognized by the international community.
The Israeli maneuvers are also believed to target Lebanon’s economy as they were held during the tourism season for the Mediterranean country.