The highly strategic intersection of the Syrian, Israeli and Jordan borders, just east of the Golan, was captured by the Al Musanna Brigade of al Qaeda’s Syrian arm, Jabhat al-Nusra on Passover Eve, Monday, March 25, DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources report.
This put the jihadists directly opposite 14 Israeli southern Golan villages and at a distance of 5-6 kilometers from one of Israel’s earliest kibbutzim, Ein Gev, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that this sensitive area fell to al Qaeda in a fierce battle waged with the Syrian army’s 5th Division in the village of Sham Al-Jawla. Control of this village has opened the way for the jihadists to reach the Syrian Golan sector from the south and for direct access to the Syrian-Israeli-Jordanian borders.
On a second front, al Qaeda fighters have seized control of Wadi ar-Ruqqad, a 70-kilometer long waterway which forms the Golan’s eastern boundary.
This wadi rises at a point north of Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan, flows south through a shallow gulch to become a waterfall which drops south west into a 20-kilometer basalt tunnel of which 6 kilometers run through Israeli territory. Ar Ruqqad waters then flow into the Yarmuk River up to the point where the Syrian, Israeli and Jordanian borders connect.