Syrian rebels, including fighters from an al-Qa’ida-linked group, have seized control of a frontier crossing with Israel in the Golan Heights after heavy clashes with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, activists and rebels said.
The capture of the post along Syria’s de facto border in the Golan held more symbolic than strategic value, but rebels said it would provide relief to nearby villages under siege by government troops.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an array of rebel fighters, including from the al-Qa’ida-linked Nusra Front and the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, took the crossing after heavy fighting that left at least 20 Syrian soldiers and an unknown number of rebels dead. There were also clashes in the towns of Jaba, Tal Kroum and Rawadi in Quneitra province.
General Ibrahim Jbawi, the spokesman for the Free Syrian Army’s southern front, confirmed the rebel gains, as did the Local Coordination Committees network.