Syrian jets shelled rebel positions near a border crossing close to the Golan Heights that was seized by rebels in some of the heaviest clashes in the strategic area this year, rebels and residents said on Thursday.
Al Qaida’s Syria wing Nusra alongside “moderate rebel groups” who had launched the attack early on Wednesday on the border post were “holding ground” despite the heavy bombardment, according to a source in the Islamist Beit al Maqdis brigade, whose fighters were involved in the fighting. (Obama warned Syria NOT TO BOMB ISIS)
Al Nusrah “Rebels” capture UN peacekeepers at Israel-Syria border –Al Arabiya
“Moderate Syrian Rebels” AKA “McCain’s Heroes” fighting alongside Al Qaeda
“43 United Nation peacekeepers were been detained Thursday in the Golan Heights area by an armed group,” the U.N. said in a statement.
Al-Qaeda’s Syria wing al-Nusra Front and other Islamist fighters have taken control of a border crossing on the line dividing Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a group monitoring the Syrian conflict said on Wednesday.
The fighters, who have vowed to “liberate” the area, captured the Quneitra post on the Syrian side from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad after fierce clashes, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The organization gathers information from all sides in the Syrian war.
The crossing is monitored by the United Nations, which oversees traffic between the two enemy countries but the distance between the two warring adversaries’ posts is some 200 meters (656 feet).
During the fighting, two Israelis were wounded by stray bullets, a soldier and a civilian, both in the Golan Heights. Israel responded with artillery fire at two Syrian army positions, the Israeli military said. It was the latest spillover of violence from the three-year conflict.
Stephane Dujarric, a U.N. spokesman, said the organization’s peacekeepers could not confirm whether the rebels had seized the crossing, “as fighting is ongoing” at one of its gates.
Dujarric reported “heavy fighting between the Syrian armed forces and armed members of the opposition” in the Quneitra area adding that several mortars struck near U.N. positions near the peacekeepers’ base, but that they took shelter apparently avoiding casualties.
He said the commander of peacekeepers there known as the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was in touch with Syria and the Israeli military urging both to “exercise restraint and prevent an escalation of the situation.”
Shelling from the Syrian civil war has occasionally reached into the Israeli-controlled Golan, occasionally causing injuries and damage to soldiers and civilians. Israel has said the firing has sometimes been deliberately aimed at its troops.
Israel captured the western part of the strategic plateau from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed it, a move that is not internationally recognized.
While the Syrian army has a presence on the Golan, some areas are controlled by rebels fighting to topple Assad, including al-Qaeda-inspired militants hostile to the Jewish state.
Rebels last year briefly took the Quneitra border crossing with Israel and now control many villages in the area.
In early July, another al Qaeda off-shoot, Islamic State, which controls roughly a third of Syria and is the strongest insurgent group in the war against Assad, swept into Iraq, taking control of swathes of territory.
Obama’s Campaign of Total Chaos Spreads to Two Israeli Borders: Syria and Lebanon
Abducted UN peacekeepers (photo from Yarmouk martyrs brigade’s Facebook page)
Al Qaeda. ISIS and McCain’s “moderate” Jew hating, Christian killing “Rebels” close in on the Jewish State. Obama claims the U.S. is “building an alliance for war on ISIS in Syria”. Britain and Australia are suggested as prime components of Obama’s “Coalition of Chaos”. Russia has been assisting the Assad government in killing Al Qaeda-ISIS-Al Nusra and other U.S. backed “Rebels” for three years. Will Russia be asked to join the fight against ISIS Mk-II ? Something really stinks about this charade.
Lebanese soldiers clashed with gunmen Thursday in a mainly Sunni Muslim area near the Syrian border where there was deadly fighting with rebels from over the frontier three weeks ago.
“Gunmen fired on an army checkpoint in the Arsal area before dawn, without causing any casualties,” a security official said.
“Clashes are ongoing,” the official said, speaking early afternoon.