Rebels Storm Essential Border Crossing Between Syria And Israel

The Syrian civil war has flared up from the south of the country, near the Israeli border. A gaggle of Islamist fighters have now captured a border cro sing concerning Syria and Israel on the Golan Heights, that has extended been monitored by United Nations peacekeeping forces.ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: A bunch of Islamist fighters now detained forty three U.N. peacekeepers who watch a border cro sing amongst Syria and Israel around the Golan Heights. The U.N. says dozens much more of its forces are unable to move because the fighting is so intense. That is once the militants took handle of your Syrian facet of that cro sing yesterday. NPR’s Alice Fordham joins us from Beirut. And Alice, what exactly occurred?ALICE FORDHAM, BYLINE: Nicely, a group, a sort of the unfastened coalition of Islamist armed groups – which includes the al-Qaida affiliate, it truly is referred to as Jabhat al-Nusra – stormed this Quneitra border cro sing yesterday, while in the Golan place. As you reported, it is a extremely delicate area. It’s generally a demilitarized region between Syria and Israel.The Syrian Air Power responded with air a saults. The Israelis responded with an artillery barrage, they mentioned. But Jabhat al-Nusra now ended up putting up images on social media marketing in their fighters firing major artillery and hoisting their flags there.SIEGEL: And demonstrate how the U.N. comes into all this – the Quneitra cro sing.FORDHAM: Correct. Effectively, and so the U.N. seriously are not the precise targets in the rebel fighters ordinarily. Nonethele s they occur to be there. While you say, they’ve monitored this border for more than forty yrs, due to the fact the cease-fire at the end of the Arab-Israeli War. They may have a lot more than one,000 troopers there. So they claim that 43 of their troops, in the midst of this fighting – soldiers from Fiji – are detained. The U.N. say they are not utilizing the phrase hostages – and they’re saying that intentionally for the second simply because they’re hoping there’ll be negotiations and they’ll be returned. Plus a further more 81 troops, that are Filipino soldiers, are now limited in their movements. And it appears which is for the reason that there is weighty fighting, ongoing there.Hence the U.N. claims they may have had contact with the armed groups on the ground which they are talking to them. But their spokesman, Stefan Dujaric, stated these days that the circumstance is extremely fluid which they are really concerned about these peacekeepers.SIEGEL: Now, these armed groups, this unfastened coalition of Islamists you spoke of – are they from that spot of Syria?FORDHAM: Nicely, it really is really unlikely which they are simply because truly, that portion of Syria is mainly populated by men and women from your Druze minority and like plenty of minorities, they are afraid of the Sunni extremists. In general, they side with President Bashar al- Matthew Peca Jersey A sad. So these fighters usually tend to be through the South, po sibly even with the place of Daraa, that is where the uprising begun far more than 3 years ago.SIEGEL: Has this transpired ahead of, which the U.N. monitored cro sing?FORDHAM: Indeed, it has. It took place 2 times in 2013, that U.N. peacekeepers were being detained. At the time, the U.N. states that there were negotiations and that they had been freed and were being not informed that a ransom was compensated. It may well not be pretty a similar this time – which was in a bit previously times. It absolutely was the Totally free Syrian Military who detained these peacekeepers, who were being much more average. The groups that have done this abduction this time are usually a lot more extreme; to be additional militant.SIEGEL: Precisely what is this flare-up on the Syrian civil war all around Quneitra, near the Golan Heights, what does it convey to us concerning the war in Syria, at this point?FORDHAM: I believe it really is an interesting reminder that there’s a great deal of going on in Syria outside of what we are listening to a few great deal of the time, and that is these ultra-extremists; the Islamic State who’ve taken about huge pieces of Syria and enormous parts of Iraq as well as their gruesome and brutal things to do. Although the Syrian govt, in light-weight from the Islamic State’s developments, appears now to become trying to situation itself being a po sible spouse for Western international locations to beat this terror risk, as they explain it. And there are a lot of people that could advise that if that happened, then the situation would grow to be far more secure. But I do think the actions of smaller sized, a lot le s influential Islamist groups conducting an operation such as this absolutely are a reminder there are significant elements of Syria in which the Islamic State is just not on top of things, but wherever the Syrian government is not on top of things either and has not been for the extended time.SIEGEL: Thank you, Alice.FORDHAM: You happen to be welcome.SIEGEL: That is NPR’s Alice Fordham, speaking to us from Beirut.MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: You’re hearing ALL Matters Viewed as.Copyright 2014 NPR.All legal rights reserved.Pay a visit to our site phrases of use and permi sions webpages at for further information and facts.NPR transcripts are made with a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and manufactured employing a proprietary transcription method created with NPR. This textual content might not be in its final variety and will be current or revised in the future. Precision and availability may well differ. 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