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WAR IS BREWING: Hundreds of ISIS terrorists amassed at Israel’s border with Syria on the Golan Heights

The Islamic State group’s branch in the Syrian Golan has anti-tank missiles, car bombs, machine guns, a few tanks and APCs in its arsenal. Despite its low manpower, the IDF is keeping a close eye on the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, as it eats away at the territory of its rival Al-Qaeda.

Yoav Zitun

A few weeks ago a huge explosion rocked the town of el-Hmidaiah, near the Quneitra crossing and 400 meters from the border fence with Israel. IDF troops were dispatched for fear that a mortar shell had fallen in the Ein Zivan area.

After a few hours it became clear that the capabilities of Islamic State supporters over the border were no longer restricted to use of light weapons and machine guns. Two car bombs had exploded at an outpost of the Jabhat al-Nusra rebel organization.


The perpetrators belonged to an outfit identified with IS, whose personnel split off from Jabhat al-Nusra – which is aligned with Al-Qaeda.


On Wednesday, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot toured the border in the Golan Heights along with GOC Northern Command, Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and Galilee Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Amir Baram.


The IDF has been following the rebel organizations fighting one another in the Syrian Golan, who for a year have controlled around 90 percent of the strip along the border with Israel.


The army emphasizes that these organizations, comprised of extremist Islamists, are not looking to Israel and are currently principally concerned with each other.


However, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi’s threatening message to Israel last Saturday has given new meaning to the presence of two separate branches of the terrorist group on Israel’s borders.


In the south, which the IDF considers to be the greater threat, IS’s Sinai branch is active near the border with Egypt. In the north, a smaller – but no less extreme – group, the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, is operating in the border area.


The group is relatively small, comprising 600 militants who represent IS in the Syrian Golan. The group controls a 15-kilometer stretch of land on the border with Israel, from the triangular point where the Syrian, Israeli and Jordanian borders


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