December 18, 2014
Syrian planes bomb border post near Israel captured by rebels
Al Qaeda's Syria wing Nusra alongside moderate rebel groups who had launched the attack early today on the border post were "holding ground" despite the heavy bombardment, according to a source in the Islamist Beit al Maqdis brigade, whose fighters were involved in the fighting.
Abu Iyas al Horani, a spokesman for another rebel group operating in the area, said at least six rebels were killed in the latest spillover of violence in the area that lies almost 20 kilometres west of the town of Quneitra, the main urban centre, which is under state control.
The crossing is monitored by the United Nations, which oversees traffic between the two enemy countries, but the distance between the two warring adversaries' posts is some 200 metres (yards).
During the fighting, two Israelis were wounded by stray bullets, a soldier and a civilian, both in the Golan Heights. Israel responded with artillery fire at two Syrian army positions, the Israeli military said on Wednesday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 20 Syrian soldiers and 14 rebel fighters were killed in the clashes. The organisation gathers information from all sides in the Syrian war.
A UN spokeswoman earlier said the organisation's peacekeepers could not confirm whether the rebels had seized the crossing, "as fighting is ongoing" at one of its gates.