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December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Golan Heights’

IDF Soldier Lightly Injured from Syrian Fighting Spillover

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

An IDF soldier was lightly injured on the Golan Heights late Tuesday afternoon, after he was hit with a bullet from spillover fighting on the Syrian side of the border.

The soldier was hit in the leg, and transported by helicopter to a hospital for treatment.

Updated: IDF Fires Missile at Syrian Base after Stray Rocket Fire (15:05 pm)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

15:05 pm: The IDF fired a missile at a Syrian army post in retaliation for stray rocket fire that exploded earlier in the day on the Golan Heights.

“The IDF sees the Syrian army as responsible for any rocket fire towards Israel,” the army said in a statement.

Fighting continues between Syrian forces and Al Nusra Front rebels on the Syrian side of the Kuneitra border crossing Thursday afternoon.

1:30pm A rocket landed in an open area on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights (Galei Tzahal). It is apparently spillover the Syrian fighting.

1:23om It appears the rocket may have landed on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

1:20pm Initial reports believe this may have been spillover from fighting between Assad’s troops and the Syrian rebels.

1:15pm If you thought the rockets attacks were over, you’d be wrong. Only the venue has changed.

The Red Alert siren went off on the Golan Heights at 1:15pm.

 

UN Commander Says ‘Raise the White Flag’ as Syrian Rebels Take UN Peacekeepers Hostage, Attack Others

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The chief of Philippine armed forces says it will ask for an investigation of the commander of United Nations peacekeeping troops in the Golan Heights who asked his troops to lay down their arms and ‘raise the white flag’ under fire. Two groups of United Nations peacekeepers — both of them Filipino — managed to elude capture by Syrian rebels in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights during the past 24 hours.

The head of the Philippine armed forces, General Gregorio Pio Catapang, told journalists in Manila that a group of 32 kidnapped Philippine peacekeepers trapped by the rebels in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights had been rescued.

“We may call it the greatest escape,” he said.

“Everyone is in a safe position,” UNDOF Philippine commander Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, said, according to the BBC. “We left our [former] position but we brought all our arms.” In addition, a second group of 40 UNDOF peacekeepers – apparently also from Philippines – managed to escape a seven-hour siege by the rebels after returning fire in self-defense.

The Philippine government has announced it will recall its force of 331 troops in October due to the deterioration of security in the Golan Heights.

A third group of 44 Fijian UN peacekeepers was kidnapped last Wednesday near Quneitra by the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra terror group (Al Nusra Front). The terror organization said in a statement posted on the internet that the captives were “in a safe place, and they are in good health, and that we have given them what they need of food and treatment.”

Jabhat al Nusra seized control of the Quneitra crossing with Israel — the only border crossing with Syria — last week. The group claimed it had carried out the abductions because the UN ignored “the daily shedding of the Muslims’ blood in Syria.”

The Philippine military is planning to demand a probe of the commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on allegations of endangering the safety of Filipino peacekeepers on active duty. (UNDOF was established May 31 1974, the day Syria and Israel signed a disengagement agreement to end the 1973 Yom Kippur War.)

Gen. Catapang told the BBC that Lt. Gen. Iqbal Singh Singha, of India, ordered Philippine UN peacekeepers to lay down their arms to ensure the safety of the Fijian peacekeepers abducted by the Syrian rebels. In addition to laying down their firearms, the general said the Filipino troops were also ordered by Singha to ‘raise the white flag,’ according to the BBC.

“He (Singha) said that if we were attacked we should raise the white flag. I said no way. That means our soldiers will also be held hostage,” said Catapang. The troops defied Singha and informed AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center chief Col. Roberto Ancan instead.

UNDOF is comprised of 1,223 peacekeeper troops from six nations — but it is not clear who will replace the Philippine troops in October.

Golan Residents Feeling Syrian Heat

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Residents of the Golan Heights awoke Sunday to the serenity of one of Israel’s most isolated regions, but also to the uncertainty of fighting that has inched closer to Jewish communities adjacent to the Syrian border.

For more than two years, residents of towns such as Alonei Habashan, Merom Golan and other Jewish towns on the Heights have become accustomed to the sounds of artillery and tank fire emanating from the eastern side of the border fence. The booms have been so common that even small children can readily identify the sounds made by a variety of heavy weaponry.

Until now, Golan residents have successfully detached from the sounds of Syria’s civil war, secure in the knowledge that with rebel groups trying to topple the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, and with Assad himself fighting for his life, the fighting was unlikely to spill over into Israel.

Today, however, amidst reports that radical Islamic groups have seized territory adjacent to the Syrian side of the border, including the Qunetra border crossing, residents of the area say they have suddenly woken up to a new reality. But with faith in the IDF and a deep connection to the Golan region, residents say they have no intention of leaving their homes. “We are ready, from the point of view of bomb shelters, security areas and a community security detail,” said Yaron Dekel, a resident of Moshav Alonei Habashan, located just 500 meters from the border fence. “We all served in the army, in combat units,and we all know how to defend ourselves if need be. There’s an IDF outpost on the hilltop right next door, and will ensure that the fighting in Syria does not spill over into Israel.”

Speaking to the Hebrew-language 0404 website, Dekel and his wife, Yiscah, admitted that the new reality has brought with it a significant dose of nerves.

“Our warning time (in the event of a missile attack) is zero,” Yiscah said Sunday. “As soon as we hear a Code Red siren, it means a missile has already landed on the moshav. There is no time for us to take cover.”

The Dekels added that several children in the community have been treated for shock – happily and sadly, they said their homes have not been battered with missiles the way residents of the south have, meaning children here are far more likely to react badly to army fire and to warning sirens.

Still, Yiscah Dekel said that with nearly all residents of the yishuv having served in the army, and with many of the community’s men having served in combat roles during Operation Protective Edge, residents here maintain a strong sense of faith in the IDF.

“Every Friday we go up to bring food to the soldiers at the outpost right next door,” she says. “At the end of the day, we know they will protect us.”

Al Qaeda and ISIS are Israel’s New Northern Neighbors

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Al Qaeda, ISIS, Syrian rebels, and soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad are engaged in free-for-all and barbaric war that is taking place dangerously close to the Golan Heights border with Israel.

The Syrian government announced Sunday that it has reclaimed control only parts of Kuneitra, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has jumped on the chaos to thump his comparison of ISIS with Hamas, while President Barack Obama shocked Americans with a candid appraisal that the United States “does not have a strategy yet” to deal with the New Middle East, light years away from what then-President Bill Clinton promised when he sold the snake oil known as the Oslo Accords.

So long as terrorists kill each other in Syria, Israel can relax, but if and when one terrorist group survives and takes over, the IDF will be wishing for the good ‘ol days of fighting Hamas in Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s description that if a rose is a rose is a rose, ISIS is Islamic Jihad is Hamas. To paraphrase his famous “duck” statement in the United Nations, concerning a nuclear Iran, “if it looks like a wild animal, and if it walks like a wild animal, and if it talks like a wild animal, it is a wild animal – and not a duck.”

The radical Islamic movement has proven that extremism and barbarity are relevant terms, and the ISIS has made Assad look human, more or less, and made Al Qaeda look like middle-of-the-road Islam.

The Syrian government has not admitted the ISIS massacre of approximately 150 of its soldiers, who dropped their weapons and ran for what they thought was their lives in a battle. Instead, the ISIS caught up with them and murdered them. Before their deaths, several of them were “convicted” after their admissions of sins against Islam by not having raped and murdered enemies.

Naughty, naughty radical Muslims, they were.

It is difficult to express ”good news” when beheadings and kidnappings are common are Syria, but Obama’s “we do not have a strategy yet” comment on Thursday should be interpreted positively and not negatively.

It is a bit shocking that the Obama administration’s foreign policy gurus have been standing aside for more than three years during the bloodbath in Syria, after initially siding with Assad.

However, considering that everything his administration touches turns to you know what, Israel and the rest of the world might be better off to the let animals act like animals, pity the innocent civilians who are caught in hell on earth, and let the United States worry about Ferguson and immigrants from Mexico.

Israel also is undoubtedly anxiously preparing for a potential future battle against ISIS or Al Qaeda domination on the Golan Heights.

ISIS, Al Qaeda and Syrian rebels have common enemies in Basher Assad and Israel, but they also are battling each other in order to stake a claim of which terrorists will rule whatever is left of Syria in the future.

The Al-Nusra terrorists long ago split off from Al Qaeda, engaged in its own civil war while fighting both rebels and Assad.

It is all in the name of Allah.

“We in the Al Nusra Front only fight to raise the word of Allah, to make the oppressed triumphant,” one fighter said, according to Fox News. “We only fight to get rid of the enemy Bashar and his soldiers. We have come to fight them so that we can impose Allah’s laws on the country.”

Al Qaeda distances itself from ISIS and announced that ISIS “is not a branch of the Al Qaeda group [and] does not have an organizational relationship with it and is not the group responsible for their actions.”

Run Away… Run Away… [photos]

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

UN troops guarding the border between Israel and Syria were caught on camera today fleeing their posts and running away into Israel with their armored vehicles, after it became too dangerous for them to actually guard the border.

The Rebel forces of the Jubhat al Nusra faction took over an area along the border with Israel, on the Golan Heights, after fighting with Syrian troops.

Some of the UNDOF forces were captured by the Syrian rebels.

Next time someone suggests embedding international troops to protect Israel from our enemies – just think of this picture.

UPDATE: Filipino forces have not laid down their weapons, and are still defending 2 UN positions, which is a credit to the Filipinos soldiers, and not the UN.

Here are some of the Syrian rebels:

Syrian Rebels along Israeli Border

 

And here we see IDF troops still at their posts along the Syrian border.

IDF tank protecting Israel along the Syrian border.

IDF tank protecting Israel along the Syrian border.

Shelling on the Golan Heights: Syria Testing Israel’s Resolve?

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Although an open-ended cease-fire is in force with Gaza, two people were wounded in northern Israel on Wednesday in the course of three shelling attacks from Syria.

At around 10 pm, Syrian forces fired two mortar shells from across the Golan Heights, both exploding in open areas north of the Quneitra valley. It was the third attack in a single day, the most intensive shelling from Syria in months. No one was physically injured and no property damage was reported in the attack.

Earlier in the evening, a 52-year-old kosher supervisor at a winery on the Golan Heights was lightly wounded by Syrian tank fire aimed at an Israeli kibbutz along the border. The victim was evacuated to Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat (Safed). A local vineyard and a gas pipeline were both damaged in the attack.

Hours earlier, in the morning, an IDF officer was moderately wounded and two Israeli vehicles were damaged in a similar attack. A barrage of Syrian mortar shells was fired from across the border  – again, from the Quneitra area. The officer, who sustained shrapnel wounds to the chest, was airlifted to Rambam Medical Center.

The IDF attacked two Syrian positions in response to the mortar fire. IDF officials said Jerusalem holds the Syrian army responsible for maintaining order on the Syrian side of the border.

Originally security sources said the attacks were due to “errant fire” due to the conflict taking place between government troops and opposition forces in Syria.

Fierce fighting is reportedly taking place between the forces fighting on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad, and rebel fighters. It is not known which opposition forces are involved in this battle, nor whether some or all of the factions have banded together to fight Assad’s army.

The Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing has fallen into rebel hands, only 200 meters (219 yards) from the border with Israel. But whose?

At least two of the three opposition factions involved in the war have vowed to dedicate themselves to Israel’s destruction when they have ‘completed their task’ in Syria. One of those is the Islamic State, or ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.)

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have been assisting Assad since the start of the civil war in March 2011, as have the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla terrorists. Other mercernary fighters have joined the effort as well.

Opposing them are three major, separate streams of rebels: the Western-backed ‘moderate’ secular and Muslim factions led by the Syrian National Coalition and its Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front which is headed by the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front (Jabhat al Nusra) along with the Ahrar el-Sham, and which includes some 13 rebel brigades, all rejecting the Syrian National Coalition; and the ISIS  ‘Army of Islam’ comprised of 43 Salafi Muslim factions was formed last year in Syria, led by Sheikh Mohammed Zahran.

Last year Al Nusra also clashed with Kurdish militias over control of local gas resources and over the institution of Shari’a Islamic law in Kurdish areas. The same Al Nusra recently handed over long-missing American journalist Peter Theo Curtis, kidnapped by the group and held hostage since October 2012, to U.S. authorities via the Quneitra crossing, into Israel.

The IDF has ordered farmers and civilians to stay away from the border and part of the area has been closed to civilians as a precaution.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shelling-on-the-golan-heights-syria-testing-israels-resolve/2014/08/28/

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