Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon toured the border with Syria on Tuesday with senior IDF commanders, following days of battles between rebels and regime forces in the Quneitra region.
Rebels have pushed the Assad military into a corner in the Syrian town, Ya’alon said. “We stand here, looking east, and we are seeing the destruction and death, and sometimes, the injured that arrive to us for medical treatment.
We look west, and we see the Golan Heights, flowering.”
On Sunday, the IDF Northern Command declared the Quneitra Crossing area a closed military zone following intense exchanges of fire between Assad forces and rebels.
Assad’s fighters have been under siege in the Golan border area for many months, and attempts by the Syrian army to reverse rebel victories in the region have failed.
As part of the military’s preparations for Syrian instability, the IDF created the 210th territorial Bashan Division and deployed it to the border at the start of this year.
The Syrian army controls just two locations along the border – the town of Quneitra, and the Druse region of Khader – with the remaining areas under the control of a myriad of rebel groups, which include radical jihadi organizations such as Jabhat al-Nusra, according to assessments by IDF Northern Command.
Should the rebels take Quneitra, the regime would be left with virtually no control of the border.
In April, fierce battles raged at Tel Kudna, near the central Golan Heights, with inconclusive results.
In recent days, there has been an upsurge in the flow of wounded Syrians to Israeli hospitals for treatment. The IDF transported five people wounded in the civil war to Ziv Hospital in Safed, including a 19-year-old man in very serious condition and a moderately hurt 18-month-old girl.
A total of 286 Syrian nationals have been treated at Ziv Hospital