Syrian rebels capture Golan crossing
Beirut: Syrian rebels on Thursday captured a crossing point along a cease-fire line in the contested Golan Heights patrolled by UN troops, an Austrian defence ministry official said.
The development is likely to deepen Israel`s concerns that the volatile area in the north along the Israel-Syria frontier could fall into the hands of radical Islamic factions fighting along with other insurgent groups in Syria against President Bashar Assad`s forces.
The crossing`s seizure comes a day after the Syrian military, backed by Lebanese Hezbollah militants, captured the strategic town of Qusair near the border with Lebanon in a significant blow to the opposition fighters trying to topple Assad`s regime.
The crossing in the Quneitra area, which is patrolled by Austrian UN peacekeepers, was overrun and seized by the rebels early today, said Col Michael Bauer of the Austrian defense ministry.
Bauer told The Associated Press in Vienna that the Austrian peacekeepers pulled back from the crossing earlier and were unharmed. The ministry`s crisis committee was meeting to evaluate the situation, he said.
The Austrian contingent is part of a U.N. Peacekeeping force that patrols the Golan, captured by Israel in the 1967 war.
The Quneitra is the only crossing along the ceasefire line and primarily serves the U.N. Peace keepers and Druse villagers moving between the Israeli- and Syrian-controlled Golan.
The Britain-based activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels attacked Syrian regime checkpoints and their armored vehicles, and took control of the crossing, located near the old city of Quneitra.
The activist group, which relies on a network on informants inside Syria, said there were intense clashes underway between regime forces and rebels in the area Thursday, and Assad`s troops were shelling villages around the city. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- Heatwave kills 223 in AP, Telangana, Chandrababu Naidu announces compensation; Delhi records hottest day
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' starts on a good note at the Box Office!
- CBSE Results 2015: 12th board exam results to be declared on May 25