It’s springtime in Israeli-occupied Golan, and this year that means a “high alert” situation for the Israeli military stationed there, as rebels expand their holdings along the Syrian side of the frontier.
UN observers, in place since 1974, are all but gone as the Disengagement Observer Force (DOF) has dramatically cut back patrols since an early March kidnapping by Syrian rebels. A contested border, but for decades a stable one, is now in turmoil.
Tensions are “the highest it has been since 1974,” claimed one Israeli military officer, saying they don’t know at any given time whether government or rebels hold the border areas.
The smart money is on the rebels though, as the military has mostly fallen back to metro Damascus, leaving the border zone near Israel to rebel factions that have little interest in upholding the ceasefire and in some cases are opposed to it as a general matter, condemning Assad for not trying to reclaim occupied Golan militarily.
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