Israel Warns UN as Syria War Moves Into Buffer Zone

Rebels Increasingly Operate in 'Area of Separation'

by Jason Ditz, March 04, 2013

Its been around a month since Israel last attacked Syria, targeting multiple sites belonging to the Assad government. Today, Israeli envoy Ron Prosor warned the UN Security Council that those relatively minor sort of attacks, part of Israel’s policy of “maximum restraint,” could be a thing of the past.

“Israel cannot be expected to stand idle as the lives of its citizens are being put at risk by the Syrian government’s reckless actions,” Prosor cautioned. Israel has reportedly been planning a full scale invasion of southern Syria, with the hopes of seizing more of the Golan Heights.

The latest pretext is the increasing fighting in the “area of separation” between Israeli-occupied Golan and the rest of the heights, which is supposed to be a buffer zone for the Israel-Syria war that has never formally ended. Western-backed rebels have moved into the area and are facing Syrian military shelling, bringing those shells ever closer to the Israeli frontier.

There is a small UN observer force in the area of separation to monitor the Israel-Syria ceasefire, but they have neither the authorization nor the manpower to keep the civil war from expanding into the area. Croatia, fearing retaliation after news that Croatian arms dealers were selling weapons to the Syrian rebels, have withdrawn their portion of the UN force over the past week, and it is unlikely that the other nations are going to want any part of a shooting war with the Syrian rebels.

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