Syrian opposition forces on Sunday captured a stretch of land along the country’s southern borders with Israel and Jordan, a human rights group said.
“Fighters loyal to Al-Nusra Front, Al-Yarmuk Brigade, Al-Mutaz Billah Brigade and others took control of Al-Rai military checkpoint” in the country’s southern Daraa district, AFP quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying.
The al-Nusra Front, also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, was labeled an al-Qaeda in Iraq affiliate organization and outlawed by the United States in December.
“The fighters seized the site after regime forces retreated. The 25-kilometer [15.5 mile] area located between the towns of Muzrib and Abdin is now out of regime control,” the organization said, naming a town near Jordan and another in the Israel-controlled Golan Heights.
Earlier on Sunday the IDF retaliated when bullets fired from Syria hit army vehicles in the Golan and destroyed the outpost from which the shots originated.
Fighting between Syrian rebel groups and the forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad has raged in the area adjacent to the Israeli border for months. Last week, rebel fighters captured one village and parts of others on the Golan Heights near the 1974 ceasefire line patrolled by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which was created after the Yom Kippur war.
Two videos updated last week to YouTube claimed to show members of the Quneitra Liberation Collective during and after battle, celebrating with cheers after taking the town of Khan Arnabeh.
Though the combatants did not display flags or other symbols common to Islamist and al-Qaeda-linked groups [which are also fighting in Syria], some of the men shown sported beards and head coverings typical to Islamic groups.