Syrian Rebels Expand Holdings, Take Most Villages Along Israeli Frontier

Israeli Officials Downplay Cross-Border Shells

Israeli officials are once again downplaying the recent stray mortar shells crossing from Syrian government-held territory into the occupied Golan Heights, saying that the mortars are “imprecise” and are just missing across the de facto border.

This may be a bigger problem going forward, however, as rebel factions take over more and more villages in Syrian Golan, along the 1967 line. Along the Turkish border increased rebel territorial claims have led to increasing military strikes against the region.

The Turkish border is more vital to the rebels, of course, as it is across that border that many foreign fighters infiltrate and many foreign arms flow. The Israeli frontier is much smaller, but with the rebels blasting Israel as pro-Assad, their presence could be destabilizing there as well.

Israeli officials say the situation isn’t necessarily anything new, and that some of those villages have been rebel held for weeks. With every other Syrian neighbor feeling the impact of the war more and more as time goes on, though, there is no reason to think Israel will be any different.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.