Rebels: 'Total War' on IS Unlikely to Reach Israel

In rare interview to Israeli media, rebel leader pledges to fight IS face-to-face - and dismisses concerns over conflict reaching the Golan.

Tova Dvorin, Chicago,

Jihadis from ISIS in Mosul, Iraq
Jihadis from ISIS in Mosul, Iraq
Reuters

A spokesperson for "moderate" Syrian rebel factions spoke to Channel 2 near the Golan Heights on Friday, saying in a rare interview that locals are preparing for "total war" against the extremist Islamic State (IS; formerly known as ISIS) organization. 

"There will be total war against IS in the south," a rebel leader, who wished to remain anonymous, said to the daily.

"We will hold face-to-face battles - not like the US and other countries that allowed IS to form," he added. "We maintain that there will not be a single person left who is loyal to them in the south." 

The rebel leader also stated that, by his estimation, IS will not take the offensive to Israel's northern borders. But mere hours after the report's publication, a rocket from Syrian spillover exploded in the Golan, causing no injuries or damage. 

American offensive helping the Middle East?

Meanwhile, a senior diplomatic source confirmed to Israeli news media earlier Friday that the American airstrike offensive against IS in Iraq has been showing signs of success. 

"American air strikes on the ground have been helping Kurdish forces seize IS strongholds and take them over," he related. 

Obama on Wednesday authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of "a steady, relentless effort" to root out the extremists.

Just 24 hours later, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro confirmed that Israeli military and intelligence officials have been actively helping the US fight IS, mindful of what Israeli President Reuven Rivlin declared as the "global responsibility" to defeat jihadists. 

"The West has already understood that it could not sit back and let these horrible forces rule, and we hope to combat this nightmare - and make it clear to everyone that there is no future for terrorism," he said Friday. 

"In this vein, not only is all Israel responsible for each other, but all countries are responsible for each other; the whole world is responsible [for responding to terror]." 

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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