Syrian Army recaptures key Golan Heights crossing
June 6, 2013
Syrian army troops have established control over a key crossing in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights shortly after it fell into the hands of foreign-backed militants.
On Thursday, Syrian forces liberated the Quneitra Crossing – situated between Syria and the Golan Heights – after heavy clashes with anti-government gunmen.
Earlier in the day, Israeli media reported that foreign-backed militants had seized the crossing.
Meanwhile, Austria has announced that it will withdraw its peacekeepers from the UN monitoring force on the Golan Heights in wake of ongoing battles in the area.
Austrians account for about 380 of the 1,000-strong United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), and their departure will deal a serious blow to the mission.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967, when it also took control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
It annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, although the move was never recognized by the international community and was a violation of international law.
The Israeli regime has used various means to help the foreign-sponsored militants in Syria, including the provision of medical assistance.
Also on Thursday, the Syrian troops recaptured the town of al-Daba’a. This came after the Army liberated the strategic town of Qusayr on Wednesday following three weeks of fighting with the militants.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government forces, have been killed in the violence.
Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.