IDF: We Will Protect Syrian Druze Village in Golan Heights from Jihadists

Michele Moreno
November 6, 2017

The Israel Defense Forces will prevent the village of Khadr, near its northern border, from being run over by the militants "out of a commitment to the Druze population", the IDF said in a highly unusual statement of allegiance to a group that is seen as loyal to Syria's contested president, Bashar Assad.

There are an estimated 20,000 Druze living under the Israeli-occupied portion of the Golan Heights which was captured from Syria in the 1967 Six Day war and was de facto annexed by Israel in the early 80s.

The village of Hader is populated by members of the Druze, a minority religious sect present in Syria, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon.

People of Occupied Syrian Golan took to the streets to protest the Israeli support for the terrorist attack launched by by al-Nusra Front on the town of Hadar in the countryside of Quneitra.

The Nusra Front is the old name for a rebel group that was formerly Al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria known as the Jabhat Fateh al Sham.

The IDF statement was issued in the wake of heavy fighting in Khader on Friday morning.

Israel's Druze, some of whom have reached the senior echelons of the Israeli military and government, have been calling for help on behalf of their brethren in Syria, both at home and overseas.

Israel has been launching airstrikes against various targets in Syria, usually saying it is either targeting "Hezbollah infrastructure" or responding to "stray projectiles" flying into Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Nine people were killed and 23 injured in Khader after a vehicle exploded Friday morning.

The statement came after hundreds of Druze residents of Israel gathered at the border in support of their relatives on the Syrian side, according to Israel's Channel 2 News. They were assisted by units of the Syrian army.

Israel has a policy of providing medical assistance to Syrians wounded in the conflict, transporting some into its territory for treatment. In a statement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that "we are constantly watching our borders, both north and south, in order to ensure security". Those include the violation of Israeli sovereignty through deliberate or accidental attacks, Iranian-supported militias taking positions on the Golan border, and attempts to transfer advanced weapons to the Hezbollah terrorist group.

Other reports by Insurance News

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