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After talks fail between Assad regime & rebels, Russia launches 600 air strikes on Daraa near Israeli Golan Heights; Israel warns of serious consequences

Damascus/Jerusalem – After declaring the negotiations with Syrian rebels near Israel’s borders along Golan Heights to have failed, Syria and Russia launched 600 air strikes at the rebel locations here. Strong reactions emerged from Israel over the attacks, which were launched merely 10 km away from its borders along the Golan Heights. In 1974, an agreement was signed between Israel and Syria with regards to the border areas around the Golan Heights. If Syria violated the agreement, it will have to face dire consequences, warned Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. It appears to be an implied warning to Russia along with Syria.

Assad, talks, Gilad Erdan, Israel, Golan Heights, Syria, United StatesThe Assad regime had initiated a campaign on 19th June against the rebels, who built bases in southern Syria’s Daraa region, claiming them of being a security threat to the country. However, the United States has objected to this Syrian military action alleging the ceasefire imposed last year to have been violated. It had also accused Russia of being responsible for the Syrian military action.

Subsequently, Russia reinitiated negotiations between the Assad regime and the rebels. On Thursday , Russia and Syria declared that the negotiations had failed. The militaries of the two countries then fired more than six hundred rockets, missiles and mortar shells at the rebel locations in Daraa throughout the night. Russian fighter jets and Syrian tanks too were involved in this action. The information regarding the number of casualties in the attack, has not yet been disclosed. Nevertheless, more than 300,000 Syrian citizens fled Daraa prior to the strikes, in fear of possible attacks over the area.

Meanwhile, Israeli agencies allege that the Russian and Syrian military attacks on Daraa are slowly progressing towards the Israeli borders near the Golan Heights. The ongoing attacks are merely 10 kms away from the Israeli borders near the Golan and this may jeopardise the historic agreement on the Golan Heights, claim Israeli analysts.

According to the agreement signed between Israel and Syria in 1974, the Syrian army can be deployed at a distance of 10 km from Israel’s border near the Golan. The agreement had the conditions that the number of deployed soldiers here cannot exceed 6000 and not more than 75 Syrian tanks or military vehicles can be stationed near the Golan. However, the Syrian military attacks near the Golan and the Iranian soldiers, as well as the increasing number of Hezbollah supporters in the area along with the Syrian army, could prove to be a violation of the agreement.

“If this agreement is violated or any unrest is caused near the Golan border, Israel will take action over Syria”, warned Public Security Minister Erdan.  The Syrian army near the Golan border will also be targeted, threatened a senior Israeli army official.

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