Jordan army clashes with Islamic State militants fleeing Syrian forces


The U.N. peacekeeping forces first deployed along the frontier in 1974 to separate Syrian and Israeli forces after Israel occupied the Golan Heights in the 1967 War.

The strategic plateau divides Israel and Syria, old foes, and saw decades of stable stand-off before the Syrian rebellion.

After weeks of intensive Russian-backed bombing, Syrian forces have seized the lush farmland where the Yarmouk River flows that was once controlled by a group affiliated to Islamic State known as the Khaled Bin Walid Army.

The terrorists had crossed into Israeli territory but had not yet breached the security fence, Conricus said, indicating the terrorists may have been on the way to attack Israel.

Army units had used "all types of weapons" to shell a group of militants who had come close to its side of the Yarmouk Valley in clashes that lasted almost 24 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon, an army source said. The UN mission was also unable to access a refugee camp in Israel via Syria.

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Several reports claimed the air strikes were being carried out by "Israeli warplanes" or an "Israeli UAV or fighter jet", aiming at a site belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in western Damascus. The army's announcement came shortly after Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman toured a Patriot missile defence battery in northern Israel during a military preparedness drill. "As to everything that is happening on the other side in Syria, from our view the situation is returning to how it was before the civil war, meaning there is a clear address, someone responsible and a central authority". It makes sense for Israel to view the war that way from their perspective, bordering southern Syria.

There was no immediate Syrian government response to the border clashes reported by Jordan and Syria on Thursday.

It is a rare attack by Israel on militants in the area, recently retaken by Syrian forces from IS and rebels. Rudskoy said Russian troops are assisting the United Nations peacekeepers.

Israel said the group was around 200m (656ft) from an Israeli fence in the zone, delineated by Israel and Syria in 1974.

Israel has been lobbying the Kremlin to use its influence with Assad, and with Tehran, to try to get the Iranian military presence in Syria scaled back.