The Syrian military post in Quenitra Governate, along the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, has fallen to an offensive by Islamist rebels, led by al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra.
The Nusra takeover is a rare victory for al-Qaeda along Syria’s south, where they have largely lost out to the military, and also puts al-Qaeda in control of a base close to Israeli territory.
Nusra religious leader Sami al-Aridi gave a high profile speech at the outpost, praising Osama bin Laden and declaring the region the frontline of the fight against the “Zionist-Crusader alliance.”
Israeli officials sought to downplay the takeover, saying the Assad government had treated Golan as a low-priority territory at any rate, and saying Nusra’s takeover of the post doesn’t necessarily mean they are gaining influence in the area.
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