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Syrian Jihadist Rebels Seize Jordan-Israeli Buffer Zone

Syrian rebel forces have seized a 25-kilometer (15 mile) buffer zone stretching from the Jordanian border to the Golan Heights.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/24/2013, 2:30 PM

View from the Golan
View from the Golan
Flash 90

Syrian rebel forces have seized a 25-kilometer (15 mile) buffer zone stretching from the Jordanian border to the Golan Heights.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog agency, “Fighters loyal to Al Nusra Front, Al Yarmuk Brigade, Al Mutaz Billah Brigade and others took control of Al Rai military checkpoint” east of Sahem al-Golan, in the Dara'a province.

“The fighters seized the site after regime forces retreated,” the statement continued. “The 25-kilometer area located between the towns of Muzrib (near the Jordanian border) and Abdin (in the Golan Heights) is now out of regime control,” AFP reported.

The rebel forces referred to in the statement are part of the radical jihadist group known as the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Syria, which despises what it considers the rival Western-backed Syrian National Council, the larger opposition force.

The rebels on Saturday also seized a key air base in Dara'a after two weeks of fierce battles with troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Observatory.

On Sunday, Israel warned Syria the IDF would retaliate by destroying the source of any gunfire directed across its northern border, regardless of who fired. The warning came after two separate attacks within a 12 hour period aimed at IDF military vehicles, both of which hit and damaged the jeeps but did not injure any Israeli soldiers.