Rebels Seize Most of Syrian Side of Golan Truce Line as Regime Hits IS

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Rebels including al-Qaida loyalists have seized most of the Syrian side of the armistice line with Israel on the Golan Heights, a monitoring group said on Saturday.

Al-Qaida affiliate al-Nusra Front and its allies launched a major offensive against government forces in Quneitra province last month, capturing the sole crossing point over the armistice line to the Israeli-occupied sector of the strategic plateau.

"The regime is on the retreat before the advancing rebels," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France-Presse.

"The regime has now lost control of about 80 percent of towns and villages in Quneitra province."

The rebels seized 45 U.N. peacekeepers on the Golan on August 28 and held them hostage until Thursday.

They are part of the 1,200-strong U.N. Disengagement Observer Force, which monitors a 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the territory during the Six-Day War of 1967, then annexed it in 1981 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Syria has never relinquished its claim to the territory and its return was the subject of peace talks with Israel in the 1990s and again in 2008.

Any prospect of the the talks' resumption has been torpedoed by the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime that erupted in March 2011 and swiftly escalated into a civil war that has claimed more than 191,000 lives.

The regime has lost control of much of the east to jihadists of the Islamic State group, including all of Raqa province and much of Deir Ezzor.

The air force carried out strikes on an IS training base in Deir Ezzor province on Saturday, killing eight of its militants, the Observatory said.

More than 40 IS jihadists were wounded in the raids, it added.

The Assad regime has stepped up its air campaign against IS in the east in recent weeks, but the near-daily strikes have exacted a heavy toll among civilians in militant-controlled towns.

Comments 8
Default-user-icon Mitch (Guest) 13 September 2014, 14:15

Nobody could be more happy than Israel & the US.

Thumb _mowaten_ 13 September 2014, 14:35

How surprising that the rebels are strongest near the borders, certainly has nothing to do with the support they get from syria's neighbors and the flow of weapons. Israel certainly wouldnt support terrorists, would it? Those evil evil terrorists who kill jew.. uh.. arabs.

Missing helicopter 13 September 2014, 19:21

How surprising that Assad is strongest in Qalamoun, certainly has nothing to do with the support they get from HA and the flow of weapons.

How about the North southern? The rebels are even stronger there.
Assad should make a deal with the moderate Sunnis (remember at the beginning of the conflict you claimed he enjoys the support of 70% of the Sunnis ..... yes I mean those guys) and form an all inclusive and Democratic Republic. Save the civilians the blood shed they experience from both sides (regime and IS).

Thumb _mowaten_ 13 September 2014, 20:46

trying to parrot my comment? nice try but it's a little weak. actually a big fail.

first, Assad is much stronger in other areas like damascus, lattakia, tartous etc.. qalamoun is not even fully cleaned.

second, yes, it's known fact that hezbollah supported syria in qalamoun, and so? are you surprised? didnt you know? or maybe you think you made a big discovery here?

fourth, by mimimicing my point you implicitly acknowledged its validity, meaning you recognize the fact that israel is supporting rebels in the golan.

oh and finally, we all know you're short on brain cells, but even you should be able to read a name correctly: it's mowaten you're talking to, not southern.

Thumb _mowaten_ 13 September 2014, 17:28

we dont care about your excuses and pretexts, the golan does not belong to you and there is nothing you can say that will make it yours. sooner or later it will be freed, like the rest of the land you stole.

Missing phillipo 13 September 2014, 21:31

Mowaten - it doesn't belong to you either. it belongs to Syria, so unless you still feel that Lebanon is part of Syria, then you are barking up the wrong tree.

Thumb _mowaten_ 13 September 2014, 23:35

It doesnt have to belong to me for me to denounce you as the thieves you are.

Whether it belongs to Syria, Palestine or Lebanon it is all the same to me, it is all stolen Arab land and will be returned to their rightful owners.

Missing panzergen 13 September 2014, 20:05

And the USA is blind as a bat by planning to train and support the so called " FSA". There are reports that weapons supplied to the " moderate rebels" have fallen in the hands of IS and Nusra. I support the US air strikes against Daesh but not training the so called " moderate rebels who are actually terrorists. Another report are saying that the so called "moderate rebels" are rag tag militia or criminal thugs who sells the weapons they get from the west to the IS. Is the USA also forgetting that these " moderate Syrian rebels are friends with Al Qaeda's Nusra Front? How naive of USA to support these terrorists.