The moment they near UN ‘peace keeping’ forces, the blue helmets will book for Israel in a New York second.
Spreading out in Syria, ISIS approaches Israel’s Golan border
Three local jihadist groups that were fighting against the Assad regime in the southern Golan swore fealty this week to ISIS.
By Amos Harel | Dec. 18, 2014 | 4:07 PM | 1
For the first time since the Syrian civil war began in early 2011, Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) has gained a presence near the border with Israel on the Golan Heights.
According to Arab media reports, three local jihadist groups that were fighting against the Assad regime in the southern Golan swore fealty this week to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Until now, ISIS had no presence near the border with Israel, though other rebel groups did. Over the past few months, the rebels have pushed Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces out of most of the area near Israel, and today they control about 90 percent of the border region – from the point where Israel, Syria and Jordan all meet in the south to a few kilometers beyond the Quneitra border crossing in the north. Assad’s forces control only the area around Mount Hermon and the Hader enclave south of the Hermon, which contains several Druze villages.
The rebel forces controlling the border comprise a loose coalition of numerous groups, including the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al-Qaida; the Free Syrian Army; and several other militias, both Islamist and secular. As Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon confirmed in an interview with Haaretz in October, Israel maintains low-profile ties with the more moderate rebel groups and provides medical treatment in its hospitals to residents of the area under their control. Ya’alon added that “this happens on condition that [these militias] don’t allow the more radical groups to reach the border.”