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Albin Szakola

Syria rebels target
Druze border village

Gunfire struck Hadar, a regime-controlled area near the Israel-Syria demarcation line in the Golan.

Hadar. (Facebook/Hadar al-Hadath)

BEIRUT – Syrian rebels have opened fire on the Golan’s Hadar, a Druze-populated village situated near the Israeli-Syria demarcation line that previously came under attack in the summer of 2015.

 

“Islamist factions and other fighting factions opened heavy machinegun fire after midnight Wednesday on areas in Hadar,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

 

The monitoring NGO tracking developments in the war-torn country added that there were no reports of casualties in the regime-controlled village, which was briefly the focus of international attention after it was surrounded by rebels in mid-June.

 

A Facebook news page providing updates on developments in the village also covered the overnight attack, saying Hadar had been targeted with “heavy machine guns” and that the sound of the gunfire was “strong.”

 

“May God help us to get rid from the mercenaries of Israel,” the Hadar Now page added in its terse post on the situation.

 

Meanwhile, another local news outlet clarified that rebels based in the nearby Hamra heights overlooking Hadar opened fire on the village with “23-millimeter caliber bullets,” most likely a reference to the rounds fired by the Soviet-manufactured ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft cannon used by opposition factions.

 

The same night as gunfire struck Hadar, rebels further to the northeast attacked a power line in the Sasa area, knocking out power to the entire Quneitra province. A similar attack in mid-February caused rolling blackouts in the border area for over a week.

 

The attack on the Hadar is the first significant violence to hit the village situated on the foothills of Mount Hermon in months. While the pro-Assad militiamen from Hadar have died in fighting against rebels in nearby areas, the village itself has been more-or-less secure since the stalled rebel attack on it in June 2015.

 

The larger Quneitra battlefront has also been relatively dormant in recent months, following a failed rebel offensive in February 2016. Last weekend, an opposition faction claimed it conducted a raid on the government’s provincial stronghold of Baath City, the most noteworthy recent military operation between both sides.

Rebels opened fire on Hadar overnight Wednesday. (Facebook/Hadar al-Hadath)

May God help us to get rid from the mercenaries of Israel.