Jihadists in Syria not likely to open a new front against Israel – for now
Al-Qaida’s Syria wing, the Nusra Front, and other Islamist fighters took over a border crossing linking Syria to the Israeli part of the Golan Heights on Wednesday and may use the seized territory to fire a few rockets at Israel, but are unlikely to open up a new front for now.
The fighters, many of whom see Israel as an enemy that ultimately should be conquered, took over the Quneitra post from the Syrian Army.
The rebels are unlikely to open up a front against Israel now because they fear its response and are busy consolidating their gains in Syria and battling to oust President Bashar Assad.
The Islamist groups are the most powerful rebel groups in Syria, with the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in the lead; they fight each other at times, and both also fight against others in the opposition camp.
It is possible the Nusra Front could carry out a token attack in order to upstage its rising rival, the Islamic State.
For now, these Syrian fronts take precedence over waging jihad against Israel, despite the fact that ideologically, Islamist groups see Israel as an enemy that needs to be overrun.
“The offensive launched this morning to take Syrian Army positions involves Ahrar al-Sham, Nusra Front, Liwa Fallujah Hauran, Saraya al-Jihad and Jabhat Thowar Souriya, which together represent a fairly broad spectrum, from Western-backed Free Syrian Army units to the Salafist Ahrar al-Sham and to al-Qaida affiliate the Nusra Front,” Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, told The Jerusalem Post.