Israel-Syrian Border Heats Up as Assad Pounds Rebels

Smoke rises above opposition held areas of the Daraa province during airstrikes by Syrian regime forces

As Bashar al-Assad retakes southwestern Syria, Israel is concerned. On July 1, the IDF moved tanks and artillery to the Golan border, a signal to the Syrian president to proceed with caution. To ensure the message was received, the Israeli army uncharacteristically announced the military reinforcement. The Jewish state seeks to ensure several red lines: 1) that Iran and its proxy Hezbollah leave Syria; 2) that Assad honors the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement; and 3) that a horde of refugees doesn’t storm its border.

Syria’s Assad Defies U.S., Presses Southwest Assault

BEIRUT (Reuters) –┬áSyrian government helicopters dropped barrel bombs on opposition areas of the southwest on Friday for the first time in a year, a war monitor and rebel officials said, in defiance of U.S. demands that President Bashar al-Assad halt the assault.