Syrian rebels have gained ground in the Golan Heights, which is partly occupied by Israel, launching coordinated attacks in the area and in nearby Daraa province, a watchdog said on Thursday.JPost adds:
"It appears that the rebels launched coordinated attacks on multiple parts of the Golan, taking control of areas and villages in the province of Quneitra," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
Overnight, the Observatory said, "rebels took control of the Mashati al-Khodr and Dawar Khan Arnaba regions, as well as artillery bases" after heavy fighting in Quneitra province.
"Violent clashes have also been underway since this morning in the areas of Sahem and Wadi al-Yarmuk" in Daraa province, in southern Syria, the group said.
Rebels seized an officers' club in Jaline village, "after the withdrawal of soldiers," while regime forces shelled the town of Sahem al-Jolan.
Israel has long been on high – yet quiet – alert on its border with Syria, as the IDF observes the battles taking place. Contingencies the IDF is prepared to deal with include a permanent withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping force stationed in the Syria- Israel buffer zone; the peacekeepers have already ceased their patrols.Keep in mind that under the Assads, the Syrian border had been the quietest border in Israel for decades. When Syria turns jihadist, that seems unlikely to continue.
Other scenarios include coming face-to-face with radical jihadi elements across the frontier.
Groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra (“The Salvation Front”), a rebel organization set up by al-Qaida in Iraq, are among the rebels gaining ground.