Syrian Army Retakes Golan Crossing from Rebels

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Rebels fighting troops loyal to Damascus on Thursday briefly seized the only crossing along the Israel-Syria ceasefire line in the Golan Heights, before regime forces recaptured it, an Agence France Presse correspondent and Israeli sources said.

The Quneitra crossing is in the demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights, most of which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

It has both strategic and symbolic importance because of its proximity to Israel and to the Syrian capital.

"The Syrian army has recovered control of the crossing, there are sounds of explosions from time to time but far less than in the morning," an Israeli source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

An AFP correspondent near the crossing also confirmed that forces loyal to President Bashar Assad had taken back Quneitra, saying he could see tanks moving inside the area.

The Israeli military earlier confirmed that the crossing and the nearby town of the same name had fallen into rebel hands.

"We can confirm that opposition forces have overrun the town of Quneitra and the border post but it's not exactly clear who they are," said Captain Arye Shalicar.

But he was unable to confirm that government forces had retaken the area, saying the situation was still developing.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that monitors Syria's two-year conflict, had also confirmed the takeover by rebel forces.

"We are watching very closely what is happening there and we have to be ready for any development," Shalicar said. "We hope there won't be any spillover into Israel."

Israel fears that the bloody fighting over the border could leave a vacuum on the Syrian side of the strategic plateau, leaving it open to infiltration by hardline militant groups bent on attacking the Jewish state.

"It is very worrying because on the one hand you have jihadists and Islamists who are fighting there, and on the other hand, you also have government forces which are allied with Hizbullah," a security source told AFP.

"We certainly don't want to have Hizbullah on two fronts."

The fear was that the crossing would fall into the hands of elements with an unknown agenda, "by people who we don't know, whose purpose we don't know," he said. "We don't know whether they are with us or against us."

Also located at Quneitra is the headquarters of the U.N. Disengagement Force, which counts some 1,200 peacekeepers.

Since 1974, UNDOF forces have been charged with monitoring the ceasefire between Syria and Israel.

In Manila, the Filipino military said one of its peacekeepers in UNDOF was wounded in the leg by shrapnel.

U.N. officials said only that there had been "shots" in the area and that they were following the situation "extremely closely".

During the morning, the Israeli army said two mortar rounds struck near the Golan town of Majdal Shams, and two badly wounded Syrians were let in through Quneitra and taken to Ziv hospital in the Galilee town of Safed.

It was not immediately clear whether they were rebels, government troops or civilians caught in the crossfire, but Ziv hospital said that a live grenade had been found on one of them, sparking a brief security scare.

"A live hand grenade was discovered on one of two wounded Syrians brought this morning by the IDF (army) for treatment at Ziv medical center," a statement said.

"The grenade was found as doctors treated a seriously wounded and unconscious person. When they began removing his clothes they found in his pocket the live grenade. The area of the trauma room and adjacent operating theater was evacuated."

It was quickly defused by bomb disposal experts, it said.

Quneitra crossing is used almost exclusively by Druze residents of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights who are allowed to cross over to study, work or get married.

Israel seized a large section of the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981, in a move never recognized by the international community.

Israel and Syria are still technically at a state of war.

Comments 23
Thumb mckinl 06 June 2013, 10:14

Israel will have to find another way in to support the terrorists.

Thumb terminator 06 June 2013, 10:32

you are correct.
for unspecified number of Syrian government troops had been taken to a hospital in northern Israel for treatment.

"There are apparently also those who are badly injured among the Syrian (army) forces who have been taken to hospital in Safed," he said.
go have a cold shower.

Thumb mckinl 06 June 2013, 10:48

Chossudovsky: Well, first I should say that Israel is supporting the insurgency. In other words, it is supporting al-Qaeda in Syria.This is not known to public opinion. Through the Golan Heights, it is supporting terrorist units of al-Nusrah, which are fighting the Syrian government.It has logistics, weapons supplies, Israeli vehicles going into Syrian territory; it also has a hospital facility for the rebels located in the Golan Heights.

Missing neil419 06 June 2013, 11:23

hahah you wish! terminator is so desperate.. go pray for some superpower!

Missing neil419 06 June 2013, 11:23

hahah you wish! terminator is so desperate.. go pray for some superpower!

Missing neil419 06 June 2013, 11:23

hahah you wish! terminator is so desperate.. go pray for some superpower!

Missing anti_war 06 June 2013, 14:50

kanaan, arabs only know how to hate, while israel only knows how to love and be humanitarian. Especially when they bomb children to pieces. As if israel ever does anything "humanitarian" without getting something out of it. Your description of arabs seems to be true about you, since all you know is how to hate your own.

Missing arturo 06 June 2013, 10:43

Are you suggesting that providing humanitarian medical aid to an enemy -- not letting them die -- is "support for terrortists?" Your blind hatred of Israel is affecting your sense of reality.

Thumb mckinl 06 June 2013, 10:55

Israel ... "Through the Golan Heights, it is supporting terrorist units of al-Nusrah, which are fighting the Syrian government.It has logistics, weapons supplies, Israeli vehicles going into Syrian territory; it also has a hospital facility for the rebels located in the Golan Heights."

Missing anti_war 06 June 2013, 14:42

Arturo, when it comes to israel they dont do anything they cant benefit from. Humanitarian medical aid? LOL. Humanitarian? from the same swines that bomb children in to pieces not once or twice but systematically? Your blindness for what israel actually is, is affecting your sence of reality.

Default-user-icon Ocital (Guest) 06 June 2013, 17:52

Israel had already found staunch allies in Qatar, Saudis and Turkey

Thumb thepatriot 06 June 2013, 11:23

@mckinl... big lols!!
Chossudovsky again! :) Some time ago, the retarded mowaten also posted this lunatic's theories on this same forum :)
This guy supports all the conspiracy theories related to the history of humanity. Please read about him, then go hide in you shell mcdumb!

Thumb mckinl 06 June 2013, 11:57

Do you always quote criticisms from the Jewish Tribune? Of course Chossudovsky is going to be a target for Zionist-bankster-US propaganda. The site he runs details the criminal behavior of this cabal.

Most of history is a conspiracy dear "thepatriot". The side that controls the agenda just calls there conspiracy "planning". Remember that history is written by the winners not the vanquished.

Thumb thepatriot 06 June 2013, 12:29

lol, ok mclovin', i'll remember... lol :D

Missing 06 June 2013, 13:54

Mc - even in leftist circles, he is seen as a loon.

Default-user-icon Daboyz Pwankurray (Guest) 06 June 2013, 11:45

That must have been an uphill battle, so to speak! Wouldn't you say, warriors?

Thumb LebCynic 06 June 2013, 15:13

Town by town FSA will fall and retreat back to their holes.

Default-user-icon The Truth (Guest) 06 June 2013, 15:50

Amazing. Israel is supporting the rebels so much that they stood by and watched as the Syrian army took the border crossing again...

Missing peace 06 June 2013, 16:50

goood now the golan border is secure... israel has nothing to fear from bashar!

Missing peace 06 June 2013, 17:57

the only proof that shows you that the baath regime protects the golan is that the baath regime never fired a single bullet to liberate it in 40 years...

plus israel has bombed several times syria but syria NEVER responded back, just threats to try and convince people like you that they are resisting! LOL!

Thumb saturn 06 June 2013, 17:57

Culture? What culture? Surely not the wooing (singing) or cinema (tv drama). How about in terms of freedom, education, technology, science, manufacturing?

Missing peace 06 June 2013, 22:49

"Name better culture? I beg you?"

france england switzerland belgium the list is long poor josh....

Thumb saturn 06 June 2013, 23:54

And have you found any of those in Syria, for that matter?