News / Middle East

Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golani
X
Scott Bobb
September 02, 2014 5:36 PM
Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Scott Bobb

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel.

Tensions in the Golan Heights have been heightened by the advances of Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
 
The seizure of U.N. peacekeepers by the Islamist al-Nusra Front and the occasional fire from Syria into Israel have added to the anxiety.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Israeli television, saying, "We have already taken steps. We did not wait. We built and renovated the security fence. Al-Nusra has been present there for about the past five months. We are prepared for various possibilities."
 
Several countries have withdrawn their peacekeepers from the area because of the situation. Of special concern are recent advances by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, whose brutality is well-documented, said defense analyst Stephane Cohen, a former Israeli military liaison officer to the peacekeepers.

Quneitra border crossing, Golan Heights, SyriaQuneitra border crossing, Golan Heights, Syria
x
Quneitra border crossing, Golan Heights, Syria
Quneitra border crossing, Golan Heights, Syria

"I think that one of the most problematic situations will be that hostile elements or al-Qaida radical elements will start to fire projectiles on Israel like we experienced in Gaza with Hamas or from the northern border with Lebanon with Hezbollah," said Cohen.

Captured peacekeepers in Golan HeightsCaptured peacekeepers in Golan Heights
x
Captured peacekeepers in Golan Heights
Captured peacekeepers in Golan Heights

Another concern is the large number of foreign fighters, many from western countries, who are now in Syria, according to Aviv Oreg, former head of the Global Jihad Office of Israeli military intelligence.
 
"We are talking about thousands that have already arrived in Syria and fought. And, in most cases, eventually they made their way to the jihadi groups," said Cohen.
 
When they return home, he said, they pose a threat to their own countries. Cohen noted similar groups are operating in Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and other countries. He said the collapse of so many states presents a worldwide problem.
 
"The world order known to us today is based basically on states. And if we see that all these states disappear or disintegrate or be divided into smaller states, then I think it will be a challenge for the international community to deal with that," he said.

He and other analysts conclude that a more aggressive international response will be needed to head off the broadening conflict.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
September 02, 2014 6:30 PM
The WISE MAN remembers when Syria was the most democratic, diverse, and religious tolerant country in the whole Islamic Middle East, and stopped the civil war in Lebanon, (and then), Israel started bombing them, and the US, EU, and NATO, started arming and training the foreign Sunni Muslim ultra-extremist terrorist to wage war on Shia Muslim Syria?..
What goes around, comes back around, and sometimes kicks you in the butt?.... IF Israel conspired with the US, EU, and NATO countries, and Saudi Arabia, they deserve what's heading their way, don't they?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid