Syrian President Bashar Assad's security machine is creaking judging by its failure to raise thousands of Palestinian and Syrian volunteers to brave the Israeli troops manning the Golan Sunday, June 5 – three weeks after his success in staging the first mass border incursion. debkafile's intelligence sources reveal that even the few hundred willing to turn out demanded a fee: $1,000 for every demonstrator who managed to cut a piece of razor wire from the Israeli border fence – and exorbitant fee in Syrian terms – and $10,000 for the families of volunteers shot by Israeli troops before they reached their goal.
Syrian state TV reported 20 killed and 277 injured in clashes with Israeli border troops – figures which are not reliably confirmed.
Assad's home front is sinking fast, which was why he tried to stage a piece of nation-cementing drama on the Israeli border. He hoped the Golan dead would outnumber the many hundreds killed in his three-month crackdown on the protest movement against his regime and is therefore likely to keep on trying.
Sunday alone, scores died in Syrian tank-backed attacks on protesters in northwest Syria who are now using live fire against his troops. debkafile' sources report that Syrian security agents captured by protesters were hanged in broad daylight from electricity poles on city high streets Sunday, June 5, causing troops and police to flee in panic.
"We are deeply troubled by events that took place earlier today in the Golan Heights resulting in injuries and the loss of life," the State Department said in a statement.
"We call for all sides to exercise restraint. Provocative actions like this should be avoided. Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself," the US statement added.