Syria Rebels Vow to ‘Liberate Golan Heights’ After Assad Falls
Syrian rebels operating in the region near the border with Israel threatened on Sunday to fight to regain the Golan Heights from Israel following the toppling of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Israel Hayom reported.
In a video published online, a rebel fighter, filmed against the backdrop of the Golan Heights, said “we are in the occupied Golan Heights, which the traitor Hafez al-Assad sold to Israel 40 years ago. These lands are blessed and the despicable Assad family promised to liberate them, but for 40 years the Syrian army did not fire a single bullet. We will open a military campaign against Israel. We will fire the bullets that Assad did not and we will liberate the Golan.”
The Israel-Syria border has been mostly quiet since 1974.
A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry has voiced his concerns about the potential for radical Sunni elements to take power in a post-Assad Syria.
“There is a great concern that uncontrolled elements at the service of extremist ideas will manage to take over smaller or bigger separate territories inside the Syrian borders,” Yigal Palmor told the Turkish Hürriyet Daily News in an interview in Jerusalem.
“The ‘Somalization’ of Syria is a great concern. We hope that this war ends as quickly as possible, with a central power emerging that will rule all Syria,” he said.
In the interview with the Turkish newspaper, Palmor revealed that Israel had coordinated with the Red Cross to send humanitarian aid into Syria, but Israel was told that the refugees refused to receive aid from Israel. Private aid organizations in Israel are already working with Jordan for human assistance to Syrian refugees, Palmor said, adding, “this shows that the Israeli public wants to help Syrians no matter what politics dictates.”