Israeli military leaders are closely monitoring activity on the other side of the northern border and preparing for the day the situation “will change,” a senior military source said Sunday.
At present, fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror organization are miles away from Israel’s northern border, the officer said. But that could change within hours.
Syria’s civil war, launched in 2011, is still raging and spawning more rebel factions and new terrrorist groups by the day. Mortar shellfire from the conflict has “spilled over” the border into Israeli territory – and into other countries as well – numerous times in the past three years.
Sometimes the shell fire is deliberate, however. “We can tell the difference between stray fire and intended attacks,” the military source said. “Sometimes we respond to stray fire, and not necessarily right away. The goal is for the war to stay on the Syrian side of the border.”
The bottom line, he said, is to attack only if there is reason, and to attack a position that is directly tied to fire aimed at Israel. “We do not attack a position for no reason,” the officer said. “The Syrian air force has not violated the demilitarization agreement. We all know where the red lines are.”
Due to the security situation, IDF soldiers became farmers in the Golan Heights to keep civilians home and safe. The soldiers maintained orchards instead of civilian farmers at Ein Zivun due to the unstable situation at Quneitra. Soldiers also brought in the harvest, the officer said. “I also plan to do this to calm the residents. We are not going backwards at all. For Israel, the situation is good.”
While life in Israel is centered on survival, life in Lebanon is growing more difficult by the day, and not just for the average resident but even for Hezbollah terrorists. The group’s ranks have been thinned by its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Three Hezbollah terrorists were killed over the weekend in a suicide bombing in northeast Lebanon. The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terror organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper.
Jabhat al- Nusra is allegedly still holding at least 21 Lebanese soldiers hostage in the city of Arsal, according to security sources quoted by the Daily Star. The terror group seized control over the border city last month. The group is reportedly hoping to erase the borders that separate Syria from Lebanon and Iraq, thus allowing the formation of a huge Islamic state. Jabhat al-Nusra has seized significant tracts of land around the Quneitra crossing with Israel, but the group is linked to Al Qaeda, and not ISIS.
Meanwhile ISIS has been busy with its own missions, among them apparently a passion to wipe out the Kurds. At least 66,000 Syrian Kurds fled to the border with Turkey this weekend, running for the lives from the oncoming hordes of ISIS terrorists who swallowed between 20 to 40 Kurdish towns over the past 24 hours. A National Geographic photojournalist described the scene on the border as “organized pandemonium.”
Turkish military forces had cut holes in the barbed wire security fence to allow the refugees to get through, which they did, rushing in by the thousands. “Twenty to 40 cities fell in the last 24 hours, and ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is moving in with tanks and artillery and killing people in its path, so everyone dropped what they were doing.” The writer, John Stanmeyer, added that he was told it was a fairly stable Kurdish area until 24 hours earlier.
Hana Levi Julian