Another Syrian province looks set to fall out of Assad government control soon, with al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra sending some 2,000 fighters against Ba’ath City and Khan Arnaba, the last towns they yet control in Quneitra Province.
The Quneitra Province covers the Syrian side of the Golan Heights frontier with neighboring Israel, and has been sieged by Nusra and some other more moderate rebel factions for months.
Syrian officials warned that it could be the “second province lost” after Raqqa, which is entirely under ISIS control. Arguably, however, Deir Ezzor Province has also fallen, as materially all of that is also under ISIS control, apart from a handful of villages.
Israel has largely supported the rebel takeover of the region as a way to oppose Assad, though the number of towns along the disputed border now openly flying al-Qaeda flags suggest that this could be a long-term threat for Israel’s occupied portion of the Golan.