Syrian rebels claim to have liberated the town of Shagara near the Golan Heights sector of the Syria-Israel border. A spokesman for the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade told Al-Jazeera that rebel forces captured a government security and intelligence compound after a five-day siege, completing the clearance of major government elements from the town.
It may well be true. Or, allowing for Middle Eastern nuances, it may mean somebody fired an AK-47 wildly into the air in the general vicinity of the town before running away. Time will tell.
If the report is correct, Herald of War imagines Israel is feeling a little uncomfortable. Since the early 1970s, under the Assad dynasty, there has been no major war between the two states. Plenty of hostility, occasional strikes, and support for terrorism, yes. But nothing like the Yom Kippur War of 1973, where brigade- and division-sized formations fought over this same ground.
There are two “if”s here. If the rebels really have won their victory, and if they are as heavily penetrated by Iraqi Al-Qa’eda fighters as some other parts of the Free Syrian Army, that could position a significant Al-Qa’eda element right beside the Golan Heights.
And that changes things.