Syrian rebels of Tafas go over to ISIS, spark battles closer to Quneitra

Heavy fighting erupted early Monday, July 2, in the southern Syrian town of Tafas. A rebel group suddenly joined ISIS’s local faction, the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, sparking fresh clashes with Russian-backed Syrian and Hizballah forces. Reporting this unforeseen development, DEBKAfile’s sources note that it has added a new complication to the negotiations being conducted non-stop among the US, Russia, Israel, Jordan and the Assad regime in an effort to stem the warfare before it reaches the Israeli and Jordan borders of southwest Syria. As of Monday morning, the talks centered on a Russian proposal for the rebels to hand over their heavy and medium weapons against a guarantee that the Syrian army will stay out of their terrain. The rebels will be allowed to remain in charge of the local government offices they established in the war years, but the Russians insist on Assad regime civilian officials coming in to conduct daily affairs, including water and food supplies. Russian officers will oversee the transition process.

In their parallel negotiations with Israel, the Russians are stressing that these arrangements, if agreed on for the Daraa region on Jordan’s border, will be the model for Quneitra opposite Israel’s Golan.
Tafas lies northwest of Daraa and south of Nawa, which was the source of a major refugee exit to the Israel border over the weekend. The clash in Tafas therefore brings the battlefield closer to the Israeli border. The Russian brokers had counted on this town of 100,000 becoming the first important venue for their ceasefire-cum-surrender deal to take effect. But it was derailed by the local rebel leaders’ decision Sunday night to go over to the ISIS offshoot in preference to surrendering to Assad’s army.

The Khalid ibn al-Walid Army commands the Yarmuk junction of the Israeli-Jordanian borders opposite the southern Israeli Golan villages of Ne’ot Golan, Lahavot Habashan and Hamat Gader, (See attached map). Its estimated 2,500-3,000 fighters have now been augmented by several thousand Syrian rebels. The concern now is that this ramped-up fighting organization will attract more rebel groups, especially in the Quneitra region, and establish a solid new anti-Assad alliance in the southwest. This presents Israel with a  dual threat: an aggressive army of fighters dedicated to ISIS rising on its Golan doorstep and a Syrian-Hizballah assault on Quneitra for cutting them down.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

21 thoughts on “Syrian rebels of Tafas go over to ISIS, spark battles closer to Quneitra

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 14:46 at 14:46
    Permalink

    Wonderful, an amazing development. Rather than having to run down a scattered colony of cockroaches one by one, they are now all consolidated in one place! No need to waste energy chasing them down and stomping away, just one well placed stomp, and poof! problem solved…

    • Jul 2, 2018 @ 15:34 at 15:34
      Permalink

      What do you mean by “consolidating”? The problem is the huge Assad+Hezbollah army comming down and too close to the border, not the self governing preferences of the stable population in the villages and towns near the border who were always in peace with Israel.

      For armed people without a state structure to keep them functioning in peace as a large group, then it is maybe good the fighting and destruction happening over the whole Syria plus large parts of Iraq, it brings closer that day when they will look for a long lasting armistice on the Lebanon model. In Lebanon they even have a constitution and keep respecting it.

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 15:15 at 15:15
    Permalink

    Surrender to the butcher Assad based on Russian promises?
    This is like buying ausweis for Heavens on the black market in Hell.

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 15:22 at 15:22
    Permalink

    Behold, as a lion that ascends from the heights of the Jordan to a strong dwelling, when I bring the moment [that] I will hasten them over her, for who is like Me and who will appoint Me a time, and who is a shepherd who will stand before Me?

    • Jul 3, 2018 @ 11:20 at 11:20
      Permalink

      “Behold, as a lion that ascends from the heights of the Jordan to a strong dwelling, when I bring the moment [that] I will hasten them over her, for who is like Me and who will appoint Me a time, and who is a shepherd who will stand before Me?”

      @MR_PuTiN_YaHu (interesting show name——-sort of),

      Once again, quoting completely out of context.

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 16:54 at 16:54
    Permalink

    Right now Israel has this bigger problem with the people without Israeli passport or as a minimum Israeli citizenship laying around a little like everywhere in these two territories of Israel Gaza and West Bank.

    These people are completely lost point of view of normal social life and democracy and the history proves they are not able to govern themselves and their most known way to social interact is violence and rioting, growing out of a culture of hate and civil disobedience. Israel has the moral obligation to extend once again the state structure and laws over these parts of the land and start the long difficult and expensive process of adaptation of these people to a normal civic life.

    But, these is no specific agreement with Jordan, or Egypt, or possibly Saudis, to receive both cathegories of these people, the ones who openly refuse from the beginning to comply with the requirements of civil order, or the ones incapable of doing it and falling repeatedly into temptations of harassing or attacking the civil institutions or civil order. They must be deported, in the interest of not letting the harm themselves or the populations around, and because of them missing one essential element – Israeli citizenship.

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 17:19 at 17:19
    Permalink

    They already surrendered to Israelis , so Israel will need to feed them as it feeds ISIS, and together with Jordan wait for its own end , that will come , irrelevant of all those aircrafts , and power , since no one , except Assad together with Russians are really capable to fight that Army , and it has no vision how it ends… It was written about 10 years ago that Army will come from the North and will take down Jordan , and than Israel will have a dilemma, how to explain this one to Americans , that created it , while it is burning to the ground. , Foreign population on the borders its Israeli made , so by the look of it , they might add around 100k-500k of them , which basically will erase Golan from Israel , whether it was annexed or not .The solution is clear it needs Russians to complete a job , since otherwise the one way out will be to the sea , or just take over Jordan , which Israeli can and should do .

    • Jul 3, 2018 @ 2:38 at 2:38
      Permalink

      Yeah, why waste your strength in Golan, with the fortifications, when you can just pick off Jordan and the west bank and Jerusalem is there?

      After all:-

      ‘Behold, as a lion that ascends from the heights of the Jordan to a strong dwelling, when I bring the moment [that] I will hasten them over her, for who is like Me and who will appoint Me a time, and who is a shepherd who will stand before Me?’

    • Jul 3, 2018 @ 11:33 at 11:33
      Permalink

      “———————, or just take over Jordan , which Israeli can and should do .”

      @solomeo,

      You may not have taken into consideration that what’s known as “Jordan” is really Palestine.

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 17:24 at 17:24
    Permalink

    Kill, destroy, torture ! DOES NOT matter, by whom, to whom, why or what for: and the “glorious” motto, excuse and justification:
    “Allahu akbar” and militant Islam ! WE (what the hell is that ??!) are “Right” and everyone else “WRONG”

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 20:40 at 20:40
    Permalink

    ” A rebel group suddenly joined ISIS’s local faction.”

    Well, isn’t that interesting. It is almost as if the Syrian rebels and the terrorists have always been on the same side. Back to your regularly scheduled propaganda …

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 21:03 at 21:03
    Permalink

    The Russians will not risk open conflict with Israel. Iran will not be allowed to dress as Syrian regulars. Hezbollah will not be allowed to set up clandestine camps in in the area. These are the truths of what is taking place. If Assad and Iran believe they have the ability to move into a city that Israel has said they will not accept, then let them move forward. Israel is willing to protect itself at all cost and Moscow as well as DC understand this.

    • Jul 3, 2018 @ 6:31 at 6:31
      Permalink

      Or it could be said that Israel dies not want open conflict with Russia, Clearly just like Washington, the Saudis, Jordan, and everyone one else in the region does not ether?

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 21:32 at 21:32
    Permalink

    He could withdraw to Jordan .The mission is over.Everything was wrongly planned from the start.Maybe next time………………..

    • Jul 3, 2018 @ 11:43 at 11:43
      Permalink

      “He could withdraw to Jordan .The mission is over.Everything was wrongly planned from the start.Maybe next time………………..”

      @Cosmin D.,

      Who is- – – – – – – – – – – – “he” ????????????

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 23:48 at 23:48
    Permalink

    Personally I prefer ISIS over Hezbollah. They were good neighbours on the other side of the border for last 7 years, which cannot be said about Hezbollah. Israel should help this army against Hezbollah, Syrians, Iranians and Russians.

    • Jul 3, 2018 @ 5:35 at 5:35
      Permalink

      You are seriously messed-up.

    • Jul 3, 2018 @ 11:50 at 11:50
      Permalink

      “Personally I prefer ISIS over Hezbollah. They were good neighbours on the other side of the border for last 7 years, which cannot be said about Hezbollah. Israel should help this army against Hezbollah, Syrians, Iranians and Russians.”

      @MEF,

      Just in case you were not aware, it is part of ISIS’s ideology to destroy Israel and every one else they consider to not be in full compliance with their “religious” view points—————-so just why do you think that the Israelis should be supporting them- – – – – – – -less of 2 evils- – – – – – – – -are you kidding ??????

  • Jul 2, 2018 @ 23:52 at 23:52
    Permalink

    Settlements like Nov are protected by the Harmon valley at the atrial Israeli border. The valley.opens to Qunitra which is a very important strategic point which is even in boring times of felt peace under close watch by IDF. Many mountains contain bunkers for watching soldiers.
    Would be interesting to see pictures of the roads ans villages near the border now.

  • Jul 3, 2018 @ 4:36 at 4:36
    Permalink

    A rose by any other name is ISIS. A whole lot of CIA/Mossad Kabuki dinner theater.

  • Jul 3, 2018 @ 11:28 at 11:28
    Permalink

    “These people are completely lost point of view of normal social life and democracy and the history proves they are not able to govern themselves and their most known way to social interact is violence and rioting, growing out of a culture of hate and civil disobedience. Israel has the moral obligation to extend once again the state structure and laws over these parts of the land and start the long difficult and expensive process of adaptation of these people to a normal civic life.”

    @Zamunda,

    Violence and rioting is their normal civic life and the rest of the Middle East knows that. Why do think the Saudis and everyone else doesn’t want them?

Comments are closed.

Font Resize
Contrast