On Monday, the Syrian regime announced the capture of the strategic hill of al-Hara in Quneitra. The hilltop is the highest ground in the Daraa province and overlooks the Golan Heights which are held by Israel. Israel on its behalf threatened that it would respond harshly to any attempts by Syria to deploy near Golan.
The Syrian regime announced on Monday that it has captured a strategic hill that overlooks the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Regime forces have taken control of al-Hara hill on the second day of an offensive to take back the last parts of southwest Syria in Quneitra province that are in opposition hands.
Quneitra borders the Golan Heights, which has been on high alert since hostilities ramped up in the south nearly a month ago.
“Syrian regime forces captured the town of al-Hara, as well as Samlin, Al-Tiha and Zimrin,” said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman.
Damascus is expanding an offensive to seize the remaining parts of the southwest from opposition factions.
The hilltop, which had a major anti-aircraft radar base that was part of elaborate Syrian defenses against Israel, and is the highest ground in Daraa province, fell into rebel hands in October 2014.
The violence 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.
Israel has threatened a “harsh response” to any attempt by Syrian regime to deploy in that zone. Israel does not want regime allies Iran and “Hezbollah”, who are well entrenched in that area to move forces near its border.