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Syrian rebels break uneasy peace in Golan Heights

Syrian rebels, including Jabhat al-Nusra, are hoping they can take control of Quneitra province and break the siege on Ghouta in eastern Damascus.
Syrian army soldiers leave their position after it was bombed by rebel fighters during a battle in Syria near the border fence with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights September 1, 2014. Heavy fighting between Syrian army forces and rebels erupted on the Golan Heights on Monday, a Reuters photographer said, but it was unclear if either of the two sides had gained an advantage to control a key frontier crossing. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (SYRIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY) - RTR44H7H

GOLAN HEIGHTS, Syria — The al-Waad al-Haq battle waged by Syrian opposition factions has broken the calm in the Golan Heights that prevailed for decades. The battle, in which Jabhat al-Nusra took part, began on Aug. 27 for control of the demolished Syrian part of Quneitra city, and its crossing to the Israeli-occupied territories and to al-Rawadi village. The sound of explosions and fighting could be heard from all sides. We could see smoke rising from several points along the flatland and surrounding hills. The Syrian army is blockading villages around Quneitra, while its warplanes heavily raid areas near these villages, thus making it impossible to access.

Reaching the Syrian part of the occupied Golan Heights is not easy, for you have to go down several roads that turn the Quneitra countryside into a fortified region, where rebels and Jabhat al-Nusra are gathered.

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