Meet the most influential figures in the Jewish world
Syrian rebels take towns near Israel ceasefire line
ByREUTERS
March 21, 2013 12:14
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says rebels have overrun several towns near Golan Heights, attacking gov't positions.
Golan Heights

golan heights 260. (photo credit:Joe Yudin)

BEIRUT - Syrian rebels have overrun several towns near the Golan Heights in the past 24 hours, rebels and a monitoring group said on Thursday, fueling tensions in the sensitive military zone.

"We have been attacking government positions as the army has been shelling civilians, and plan to take more towns," said Abu Essam Taseel, from the media office of the "Martyrs of Yarmouk", a rebel brigade operating in the area.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group monitoring the conflict in Syria, said rebels had taken several towns near the Golan plateau, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed.

It said that on Wednesday night rebels had captured Khan Arnabeh, which sits on the Israeli-Syrian disengagement line and straddles a main road leading into Israeli-held territory.

Rebels also took Mashati al-Khadar and Seritan Lahawan, two villages near the ceasefire line, it said.

UN peacekeepers monitoring the line halted patrols this month after rebels held 21 Filipino observers for three days.

The armed struggle between rebels and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has posed increasing difficulties for the 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

There is growing concern in Israel that Islamist rebels may be emboldened to end the quiet maintained by Assad and his father before him on the Golan front since 1974.

Rebel sources say the Syrian army intensified shelling of villages in the area of Saham al-Golan at dawn on Thursday.

They said that rebels in the Quneitra region, next to the Golan, were stepping up attacks on roadblocks to gain more territory but added that the strategic town of Quneitra - which was largely destroyed and abandoned during Israeli-Syrian clashes in 1974 - was still in Syrian government hands.

Click for full JPost coverage
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • Golan Heights
  • Prev Article
    Obama to talk peace at Abbas meeting in Ramallah
    Obama and Abbas
    PA President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Barack Obama
    Abbas: PA, America 'partners' in pursuit of peace
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Demonstrators protest Trump in Nablus in the West Bank in January
    February 21, 2017
    Demonstrators in Ramallah protest Trump policies on Israel-Palestinian conflict

    By ADAM RASGON

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 4 - 16
      Beer Sheva
      7 - 17
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 5 - 13
      Jerusalem
      7 - 15
      Haifa
    • 8 - 22
      Elat
      8 - 19
      Tiberias