Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Syrian government seizes strategic hill overlooking Golan Heights

Golan Heights
Syrian government troops have regained control of a strategic hill overlooking the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, state-media and terrorists/rebels said on Monday.

Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad took control of the al-Haara hill on the second day of an offensive aimed at retaking the remaining pockets of opposition in Quneitra province along the border with Israel.

The hilltop, which is the highest ground in Deraa province, fell into rebel hands in October 2014, was heavily bombed by Russian and Syrian army air raids over the past two days.

The liberation is taking place a few kilometers away from the line marking the start of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force zone, an area monitored by a UN force since 1974 in the wake of the Arab-Israeli War.

Israel has warned of a "harsh response" should Syrian government forces be deployed in the area and perceives the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah troops - key backers of President Assad - a threat to its security interests in the region.

President Donald Trump told reporters on Monday after meeting President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Monday in Helsinki that both had agreed to work together on helping ensure Israel's security.

Putin met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a day earlier on Sunday in the Russian capital Moscow to address Israel's security concerns regarding the presence of Iranian troops in the war-torn country.

Daraa city cleared of terrorism

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