Syria army batters militants in Golan Heights

Syria army batters militants in Golan Heights
Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:22:19

Syrian jets have shelled militant positions near a border crossing close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that was seized by Takfiri insurgents in some of the heaviest clashes in the strategic area this year.

Al-Qaeda's Syria wing the Nusra Front alongside other militant groups who had launched the attack early on Wednesday on the border post were bombed, a militant source of the Beit al Maqdis brigade said on Thursday.

Abu Iyas al Horani, a spokesman for another militant group operating in the area, said at least six militants were killed in the latest spillover of violence in the area that lies almost 20 kilometers west of the town of Quneitra, the main urban center, which is under state control.

The crossing is monitored by the United Nations, which oversees traffic between the two enemies, but the distance between the two warring adversaries' posts is some 200 meters.

During the fighting, two Israelis were wounded by stray bullets, a trooper and a civilian, both in the Golan Heights. Israel responded with artillery fire at two Syrian army positions, the Israeli military said on Wednesday.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the organization gathers information from all sides in the Syrian war, claimed 20 Syrian soldiers and 14 militants were killed in the clashes.

A UN spokeswoman earlier said the organization's peacekeepers could not confirm whether the militants had seized the crossing, "as fighting is ongoing" at one of its gates.

Militants, who included Al-Qaeda inspired terrorists, last year briefly took the Quneitra border crossing with Israel and now control many villages in the area.

Hundreds of Nusra terrorists who fled from the eastern Deir al-Zor province after being driven out by their hardline rival, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), earlier this year have regrouped in southern Syria, some reports say.


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