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Several countries have withdrawn their peacekeepers from the area because of the situation.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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid