Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ya'alon tours Israel's border with Syria


Visit follows days of intense fighting between rebels and the Syrian regime near the frontier.

Ya'alon golan hights
Ya'alon tours Syrian frontier on the Golan Hights Photo: DEFENSE MINISTRY/ARIEL HERMONI
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon toured Israel's border with Syria on Tuesday with senior IDF commanders, following days of intense fighting between rebels and the Syrian regime in the Quneitra region, near the frontier.
Addressing the recent battles in Quneitra, Ya'alon said Syrian rebels have pushed the Assad military into a corner in the Syrian town. "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," the defense minister said.
Earlier this week, the IDF Northern Command declared the Quneitra Crossing area a closed military zone following intense exchanges of fire between Assad loyalist forces and rebels.

Assad regime forces have been under seige in the border area near Israel for many months, and attempts by the Syrian army to reverse rebel victories in the region have so far been a failure.
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, in order to boost frontier security.
According to assessments by IDF Northern Command, the Syrian army controls just two locations along the border with Israel - the town of Quneitra, and the Druze region of Khader - with all remaining border areas under the control of a myriad of rebel groups, which include radical jihadi organizations like Jabhat Al-Nusra.
Should the rebels succeed in taking Quneitra, the regime would be left with virtually no control of the border with Israel .
In April, fierce battles raged Tel Kudna, near the central Golan Heights, with inconclusive results.
In recent days, there has been an upsurge in the flow of wounded Syrians who arrived in Israeli hospitals for treatment. The IDF transported five Syrians wounded in the civil war to Ziv Hospital in Safed, including a 19-year-old Syrian in very serious condition and a moderately hurt 18-month-old baby.
A total of 286 Syrian nationals have been treated at Ziv Hospital.

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