Syrians seek refuge in Israel

After battle between Assad’s forces & rebels in Golan Heights, dozens of Syrians attempt to cross into Israel, but IDF soldiers send them back after determining Quneitra was safe.

Meanwhile, wildfires caused by Syrian gunfire spreads crosses the border into Israel

By Yoav Zitun

 

Dozens of Syrians arrived at the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria at around noon Thursday and requested entry into Israel.

Syrian-born fire reaches Golan shrubbery - Photo Haggai Aharon

Syrian-born fire reaches Golan shrubbery – Photo: Haggai Aharon

According to assessments, hundreds of dunams have gone up in flames, some of which have come near the IDF’s Golan positions. An Israeli firefighter squad is currently at the scene attempting to take control of the fire and the IDF has instructed local farmers to stay away from their lands near the border for the time being.

The group was received by the IDF, which examined them at the crossing. However, after the IDF decided the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing was no longer dangerous, it decided to send the group back to their war-torn country.

In the meantime, fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan has led to a number of wildfires on both sides of the border. The fires began in Syria and spread through minefields mediating between the two countries.

According to Military Intelligence‘s assessments, despite the fact that the Syrian civil war continues to rage on, it is unlikely that Syrian President Bashar Assad will lose his seat any time soon.

The fighting around Quneitra, as well as Assad’s recent, Hezbollah-aided victory in overtaking the strategic city of Qusair, testify to the validity of this assessment.

טנקים ישראלים בגבול (צילום: אביהו שפירא)

IDF tanks patrol Golan – Photo: Avihu Shapira

The combat conducted by the Syrian army took place only a few dozen meters from IDF soldiers securing the border crossing.

Throughout the day, dozens of mortars and tank shells were fired and after the IDF canvassed the area it was discovered that two of the mortars landed in Israeli territory. One of the shells fell near the Druze community of Boukata in the northern Golan.

The IDF has decided to bolster forces in the Golan following developments in Quneitra and are keeping a large number of army and medical forces at hand.

IDF Northern Command head, Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, has declared the border regions as closed army areas and backup troops will be kept along the border during the weekend.

 

View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4389373,00.html

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