Islamic State reportedly gains ground near Israeli Golan Heights

Syrian territory near the border with Israel in the Golan Heights. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The Islamic State terror group is reportedly making gains in the Golan Heights region near the Israeli-Syrian border as rebel groups operating in the area face ammunition and weaponry shortages. 

According to a spokesman from the Free Syrian Army, the moderate group fighting both the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State, there are around 500-700 Islamic State fighters currently active in the Syrian Golan Heights towns of Jamlah and Ash-Shajarah, which are adjacent to the Israeli border, the Times of Israel reported. 

“The current situation is very bad,” the spokesman said. “No battles are taking place [with Assad forces] in our sector because there’s no ammunition.”

The report comes as the Syrian civil war takes the new twist of Russia’s military buildup and launch of airstrikes against enemies of Assad, its ally. While Russia is claiming to be targeting Islamic State, the U.S. has accused Russia of launching airstrikes against moderate Syrian rebel groups battling Assad.

At the same time, Israel has long been concerned about the situation near its border in the Golan Heights. During the past year, rebel groups, some of whom are part of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra terror group, have been battling with Syrian government forces supported by Iranian and Hezbollah fighters in the region. Israel has expressed concerned about the increasing regional presence of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah, who are seeking to set up a new terror front in the Golan Heights.

Posted on October 2, 2015 .