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As Israel’s anti-Iran strategy shifts into higher gear, worries of fresh conflict grow

Israel's escalated campaign to contain Iran and its Hezbollah allies has provoked fear that a new conflict may erupt among neighbors.
Israeli soldiers stand next to shells and a mobile artillery unit near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RC1C67173F10

NIMROD, Golan Heights and TEL AVIV, Israel — The clatter of gunfire pierces the evening calm in Nimrod, an obscure idyll perched among the clouds in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Staff at Biktot Baraffel, a local bed and breakfast, dismiss it as yet another skirmish between the Syrian army and pockets of Sunni rebels in Quneitra, on the opposite side of what has long been called Israel’s "boring border" with Syria. But an escalating campaign by Israel to contain Iran and its Hezbollah allies in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq is busting the complacency that has long enveloped the area, with growing worries that conflict between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors may erupt anew.

Soyossi Koroi is a corporal from the Fijian battalion serving with the UN Disengagement Observer Force. The force monitors the 80-kilometer (49-mile) cease-fire line in the Golan Heights that has been in place since the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He confirmed that things were heating up. “Hezbollah is active on the bravo side,” Koroi said, using the term for the Syrian side of the buffer zone. 

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