Photo Credit: FLASH90
A view of the Syrian town of Quneitra seen from the Israeli Golan Heights. November 12, 2012.
A view of the Syrian town of Quneitra seen from the Israeli Golan Heights. November 12, 2012.

Military forces fighting for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad raised the Syrian flag in the city of Quneitra on Thursday as the regime forces tighten their grip over the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, across the border from Israel and Jordan.

Thus far, Syrian army troops have not deployed to former posts near the frontier, according to a regional intelligence source quoted by Reuters.

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Israel is watching closely, concerned that Iranian forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah proxies may attempt to move in to the posts instead.

The intelligence source who spoke with Reuters added that there is, in fact, a strong presence in parts of Quneitra of Iranian-backed militias, although they are maintaining a low profile to avoid antagonizing Russia, which has promised Israel to limit their presence.

Israel has repeatedly warned all parties in the region — Russia, the U.S. and those who are direct participants in the conflict — that under no circumstances will Iran’s military presence be tolerated in Syria. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement earlier this week there is no intention of allowing Syria to become “another Lebanon.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.