Missing Peace | missingpeace.eu | EN

Islamic State heading for Israeli border on Golan Heights

By Missing Peace

Islamic State

On Thursday June 4th, Israeli TV Channel 2 reported that Islamic State is approaching the Israeli border on the Golan Heights. ISIS forces are now only 40 miles from Kuneitra, Channel 2 News reported at 12.00 PM local time. ISIS is advancing in the direction of Israel from the Druze Mountains along the Jordanian border.

Until now, Islamic State has not launched the expected massive assault on the Druze villages, but seems to be heading for the Syrian Golan Heights instead. Israeli commentators pointed out today that both Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State launched attacks on the Druze villages in southern Syria, and some of them are already under the control of the Islamists.

Or Heller of Channel 10 News reported that Druze on the Israeli Golan Heights requested a meeting with IDF officials yesterday to discuss the extremely difficult situation of the Druze on the other side of the border in Syria. Many Druze in the villages on the Golan Heights have relatives in Syria.

The meeting between Druze leaders and IDF officials was held today. The Druze requested to open the border to let Syrian Druze flee from Syria if Islamic State decides to capture the Druze village of El Khader on the Syrian Golan Heights. IDF officials responded by saying that the Israeli army would not allow Islamic State to commit a massacre among the Druze on the Syrian Golan Heights, but declined to promise opening the border for Druze refugees at this stage.

A Druze man from the village of Magdel Shams on the Israeli Golan Heights told Western Journalism that the Druze in Israel fear for the lives of their relatives in Syria and that contacting those relatives has become virtually impossible. Many Syrian Druze do not want to be in contact with their family in Israel anymore out of fear that Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra will take reprisal measures, the man reported, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The report about the ISIS advance in southern Syria came after Channel Two News’ veteran Middle East commentator Ehud Yaari predicted that the end of the Assad regime in Syria is now near. Yaari is regarded as one of the best informed Middle East experts of the Israeli media.

The Syrian rebels and the ISIS forces have enjoyed a series of accomplishments lately, Yaari said; and Assad has not been in worse shape since the cruel civil war began four years ago. The forces opposing him have made advances in the north, south, and east; his military force is dwindling; and his ability to deal with the challenges facing him is “very limited, he added.

Assad has lost the ability to move his forces from one front to another and has sustained heavy losses, according to the expert. “Iran has sent Shi’ite militias from Iraq and Afghanistan to assist the Syria army, but these have not shown a meaningful fighting ability. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has not been able to make meaningful advances in the Kalamoun Mountain area, despite heavy fighting,” Yaari claimed. Hezbollah had earlier announced that it is in full control of the Qalamoun Mountains east of the Lebanese border.

The Syrian army is fighting on five fronts, according to Yaari:

  • Haska: ISIS is attacking the northeastern provincial city and is only five kilometers away from it.
  • Aleppo: the largest Syrian city is under attack by both ISIS and the rebels. ISIS has taken control of the supply route that leads to Turkey, in the northwestern part of Syria.
  • Homs: rebels are attacking the city that has been dubbed ‘the Capital of the Revolution.’
  • Druze Mountain: ISIS is at the outskirts of the plateau next to the border with Jordan.
  • Daraa: the ‘capital of the South,’ next to the Jordanian border, is coming under heavy rebel attack.

Assad will soon have to make “a difficult decision that will determine how the rest of the fighting will proceed,” Yaari claimed. According to some reports, the Syrian top command is preparing a plan for digging itself in at several holdouts in the west of the country.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, declared Wednesday that his country “will stand by the nation and government in Syria until the end of the road.”

Yesterday, Western Journalism reported that the Iranian commander of the Al-Quds Brigades of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had announced a surprise move by Iran in Syria to take place in the coming days. His comments came after a Shiite militia that is close to the regime in Tehran released a report on the Iranian war effort in Syria in which the group demanded that Iran deploy 50,000 Iranian soldiers in Syria to rescue the regime of President Assad.

Meanwhile, Islamic State in Gaza issued a warning today it would attack Israel with rockets if Hamas would not halt its crackdown on ISIS supporters. The group released a video that supposedly shows the launch of the rocket that hit Israel last week.

The video, with an ISIS flag in the upper left corner, shows a rocket and a launcher burrowed in the sand. The next scene contains footage of the rocket being launched, followed by Arabic news reports about the attack.

The video was produced under the banner of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which represents ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula and now has a foothold in Gaza. The Gaza branch calls itself the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade. This group was responsible for assassinating a senior Hamas commander on Sunday.

A leader of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in Gaza said if Hamas does not cease its crackdown, the group will not only continue to target Hamas; it will also break the Israel-Gaza truce with more attacks launched against the Jewish state.

WND News was the first medium that published the video and apparently believed Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis’ claim that this was the missile fired at the Israeli city of Gan Yavne, some 45 miles north of Gaza. The rocket in the video, however, is smaller than a Hamas-made Qassam rocket that has a range of 20 miles