Syrian Soldiers Abandon Posts in Town Near Israel Border

Fighting Reportedly Escalates Between Golan, Damascus

by Jason Ditz, March 28, 2013

170 Syrian soldiers have reportedly abandoned their posts in Quneitra, another key town along the border with Israeli-occupied Golan, in the face of an offensive by rebels.

Golan has been seriously contested by rebel fighters in recent days, and the fighting stretches from the area near Israel to the southern outskirts of Metro Damascus. The Syrian military seems to be focusing on defending the capital, and is ceding area in Golan for the sheer difficulty to keep it in supply in the face of the rebel influx.

The area along the Israel-Syria frontier is ideally demilitarized, with UN monitors keeping both sides respecting the ceasefire in place since 1973. The UN troops have been fleeing the area en masse, however, after rebels kidnapped some of them earlier this month.

With Israel openly talking about invading Syria and conquering more land as a “buffer zone,” the Syrian government appears convinced that they may just as well cede the towns to the rebels and let them deal with any Israeli incursions instead of wasting manpower defending towns they may end up losing to Israel at any rate.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz