Israel 'ready to protect' Druze village in Syria


Fighting broke out between Syrian government troops and rebel fighters in Hader following the blast, leaving a Druze individual injured in the village of Majdal Shams on the Israel-occupied side.

The Druze village of Hadar is aligned with the Syrian government, creating an unusual scenario if Israel does indeed deploy forces to defend it as Syria and Israel are bitter enemies.

Damascus frequently accuses the Israeli army of backing jihadists who are engaged in bloody battles with regime forces across the country.

The assault began when a suicide vehicle bomb attacked the outskirts of the village, Syrian state media said.

In a statement, the Israeli military IDF said it "is prepared and ready to assist the residents of the village and prevent damage to or the capture of the village Hader out of commitment to the Druze population".

The attack included the vehicle bomb in Hader, which Syrian state media attributed to the jihadist group formerly known as the Nusra Front.

Clashes were also reported in the area between the Syrian army and the militants by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The agency said the toll can rise as a number of injured are in serious condition and the ongoing clashes in the town make it hard to remove the injured to safety.

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Hader, a town just inside Syrian territory, is reportedly being targeted by the Nusra Front, formally known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

There are approximately 140,000 Druze in Israel, including 20,000 in the Golan Heights.

The Syrian army and Kurdish-led forces backed by the US are now racing to take the rest of the oil-rich eastern province.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 and later annexed it, a move never recognised by the global community. IDF forces brought them back into Israel.

The Israeli army sealed off the area to prevent anyone crossing. Our borders in the south, our borders in the north.

Israel has a policy of providing medical assistance to Syrians wounded in the conflict, transporting some into its territory for treatment.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.