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ISIS Threat in Golan Looms Large over Israel

Despite the defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in much of the Middle East, it still poses a threat to Israel across the border in Syria. The Jerusalem Post's Seth J. Frantzman writes that ISIS looms as a threat in the Golan Heights, the same as Iran and Hezbollah:

In November 2016, Israel and an Islamic State affiliate that controls territory on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights engaged in a brief battle.

After coming under small arms and mortar fire, Israel responded with an air strike that killed four members of the ISIS group, which goes by the local name of the “Army of Khalid bin al-Walid” (JKW).

Since then, that part of the Golan border has been quiet. However, with the southwestern Syrian cease-fire in force and with ISIS almost defeated in the rest of Syria, it seems a matter of time until ISIS on the Golan will be in the spotlight again...

With so many armed groups in such a close proximity to the Golan, chances of a mishap increase. ISIS has nowhere to go in this area because it is surrounded and eventually one of the groups around it, whether the Syrian regime or the rebels, will seek to overrun the pocket.

The problem for Israel is that it does not want to get drawn into a conflict in southern Syria because it already faces tensions relating to the presence of Iranians and Hezbollah in that area. However, there is likelihood that any advances by the Syrian regime could lead to pressure being put on the ISIS pocket to provoke Israel.

Tags: Syria , ISIS , Israel

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