Syrian Rebels Launch Golan Heights Offensive

(BBC News) Jonathan Marcus - A major offensive against the Syrian army is underway in the south of the country, the fighting extending right up to the frontier with Israel. The immediate goal of the rebels seems to be Quneitra. Israel has declared the area along the frontier a closed military zone. "For the past two months the Syrian army has suffered major setbacks in the southern sector," veteran Israeli strategic commentator Ehud Yaari told the BBC. "In recent weeks the rebels have scored some significant successes, capturing the villages of Qahtania and the high ground of Tal al-Ahmar. Jaba has been captured further south. Basically, the rebels have broken the defensive system of the Syrian forces in the area, which is relying upon heavy artillery fire in response." Yaari explains that the Assad regime is seen in Israel as a key link between Iran and Hizbullah in Lebanon. "If President Assad falls, Hizbullah effectively becomes locked in southern Lebanon and this would produce a very different strategic situation."

2014-05-14 00:00:00

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