Syrian rebels seize border crossing with Israel

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Syrian rebels seize border crossing with Israel
FILE - In this Wednesday, July 16, 2014 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syria's President Bashar Assad is sworn for his third, seven-year term, in Damascus, Syria. The Syrian government has said it welcomes U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria. But it had been gambling that Washington would partner with it against the extremists, hoping for a dramatic reversal in the U.S. policy calling for Assad’s removal. (AP Photo/SANA, File)
Syrian men stand at the site of a car bomb explosion in the al-Zahraa neighborhood in Homs on October 29, 2014. At least 37 people, including children, were injured in the attack on the government-controlled neighbourhood in the central Syrian city of Homs, state television reported. The majority of Al-Zahraa's residents are Alawite, the same sect as President Bashar al-Assad. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Free Syrian Army fighter aims his weapon during a battle with Syrian government forces in Aleppo, Syria, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center AMC)
A military plane of the US led coalition circles above the Syrian town of Kobani, seen from a hilltop outside Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
FILE - This undated file photo posted on Monday, Nov. 4, 2014 by the Raqqa Media Office of the Islamic State group, a militant extremist group, shows Islamic state group fighters in Kobani, Syria. For a force that has built its reputation on projecting an aura of momentum and invincibility, the prolonged stalemate in Kobani is a setback for Islamic State militants with potential implications in terms of recruitment and support. Nearly two months after it launched its lightning assault on the small Kurdish town, the group is bogged down with an increasingly entrenched and costly battle in which hundreds of its fighters have been killed and a good deal of its military apparatus destroyed. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Office, File)
A poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad adorns a wall as the vehicle of United Nations special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura leaves his hotel on November 9, 2014 in the capital Damascus. De Mistura is expected to meet Bashar al-Assad to relaunch peace efforts in the country ravaged by close to four years of civil war. AFP PHOTO/ LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
This photo provided by an anti-Bashar Assad activist group Edlib News Network (ENN), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows parts of a missile that activists say was fired by coalition airstrikes, in the village of Kfar Derian, a base for the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, a rival of the Islamic State group, between the northern province of Aleppo and Idlib, Syria, Tuesday Sept. 23, 2014. Syria said Tuesday that Washington informed President Bashar Assad's government of imminent U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State group, hours before an American-led military coalition pounded the extremists' strongholds across northern and eastern Syria. (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN)
This photo provided by an anti-Bashar Assad activist group Edlib News Network (ENN), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian citizens checking a damaged house that they say was targeted by the coalition airstrikes, in the village of Kfar Derian, a base for the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, a rival of the Islamic State group, between the northern province of Aleppo and Idlib, Syria, Tuesday Sept. 23, 2014. Syria said Tuesday that Washington informed President Bashar Assad's government of imminent U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State group, hours before an American-led military coalition pounded the extremists' strongholds across northern and eastern Syria. (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN)
In this Saturday, Sept. 27 2014 photo, provided by the anti-government activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrians walking amid the rubble of damaged houses following a Syrian government airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012 file photo, Syrian rebel fighter Tawfiq Hassan, 23, a former butcher, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf petro-powerhouses encouraged a flow of cash to Sunni rebels in Syria for years. But now they face a worrying blowback as an al-Qaida breakaway group that benefited from some of the funding storms across a wide swath of Iraq. Gulf nations fear its extremism could be a threat to them as well. But the tangle of rivalries in the region is complex: Saudi Arabia and its allies firmly oppose any U.S. military action to stop the Islamic State’s advance in Iraq because they don’t want to boost its Shiite-led prime minister or his ally, Iran. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, File)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - NOVEMBER 08: Armed members of Islamic Front stand guard at their positions during clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and troops of Islamic Front in the Mari district of Aleppo, Syria, on November 8, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Muhammed Ali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - NOVEMBER 09: Members of Civil Defense team try to rescue the people from the debris of a building in the Al-Bab district of Aleppo, Syria, on November 9, 2014. After a helicopter of Syrian army attacked with a barrel bomb on the Al-Bab district of Aleppo which is under control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), 10 people killed and 25 others were injured. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
KOBANI, SYRIA - NOVEMBER 8: Armed Kurdish fighters are seen during the clashes with Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) members in Kobani (Ayn al-Arab), Syria on November 8, 2014. According to the armed groups the movement of the ISIL is slow downed after the US-led coalition airstrikes and with the support of Free Syrian Army members and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Kobani. (Photo by Ahmed Deeb/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
In this photo posted on August 10, 2014, provided by Civil Defense Idlib, a group of volunteers in northern Syria which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, show Syrian civil defense workers with their white helmets, set their equipments on a pickup, in Idlib province, northern Syria. Thousands of miles from his ravaged hometown of Idlib in the comfort and security of midtown Manhattan, Raed Saleh chokes up as he recalls some of the horrors he has witnessed as a rescue worker in northern Syria. He feels angry, cheated and most of all, deeply sad for his country. "We were rescuing people from Syrian regime strikes. Today we are rescuing people from coalition strikes," he says. (AP Photo/Civil Defense Idlib)
In this photo posted on December 13, 2013, provided by Civil Defense Idlib, a group of volunteers in northern Syria which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, show Syrian civil defense workers with their white helmets posing for a picture, in Idlib province, northern Syria. Thousands of miles from his ravaged hometown of Idlib in the comfort and security of midtown Manhattan, Raed Saleh chokes up as he recalls some of the horrors he has witnessed as a rescue worker in northern Syria. He feels angry, cheated and most of all, deeply sad for his country. "We were rescuing people from Syrian regime strikes. Today we are rescuing people from coalition strikes," he says. (AP Photo/Civil Defense Idlib)
In this photo posted on August 21, 2014, provided by Civil Defense Idlib, a group of volunteers in northern Syria which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, show Syrian civil defense workers with their white helmets, carry on of their comrade during a training session, in Idlib province, northern Syria. Thousands of miles from his ravaged hometown of Idlib in the comfort and security of midtown Manhattan, Raed Saleh chokes up as he recalls some of the horrors he has witnessed as a rescue worker in northern Syria. He feels angry, cheated and most of all, deeply sad for his country. "We were rescuing people from Syrian regime strikes. Today we are rescuing people from coalition strikes," he says. (AP Photo/Civil Defense Idlib)
In this photo posted on September 21, 2014, provided by Civil Defense Idlib, a group of volunteers in northern Syria which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, show Syrian civil defense workers with their white helmets, center, remove debris from a damged building which was shelled by the syrian government forces, in Idlib province, northern Syria. Thousands of miles from his ravaged hometown of Idlib in the comfort and security of midtown Manhattan, Raed Saleh chokes up as he recalls some of the horrors he has witnessed as a rescue worker in northern Syria. He feels angry, cheated and most of all, deeply sad for his country. "We were rescuing people from Syrian regime strikes. Today we are rescuing people from coalition strikes," he says. (AP Photo/Civil Defense Idlib)
A picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights shows smoke billowing near the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab following an explosion during fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebel fighters, on September 23, 2014. Israel will respond 'forcefully' to attempts to threaten its security, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon warned, after it shot down a Syrian warplane over the Golan Heights. AFP PHOTO/ JALAA MAREY (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke rises from the Syrian Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab after it was bombed by a Syrian fighter jet on September 23, 2014, moments before the jet was shot down by the Israeli military over the Golan Heights. Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet over the Golan Heights, the army said, indicating that it had crossed the ceasefire line into the Israeli-occupied sector. It was the most serious incident to take place on the strategic plateau since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. AFP PHOTO/ JALAA MAREY (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
A Syrian fighter jet is seen in flames after it was hit by the Israeli military over the Golan Heights on September 23, 2014. Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet over the Golan Heights, the army said, indicating that it had crossed the ceasefire line into the Israeli-occupied sector. It was the most serious incident to take place on the strategic plateau since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. AFP PHOTO/ JALAA MAREY (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke rises from the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab after it was bombed by a Syrian fighter jet on September 23, 2014, moments before a Syrian jet was shot down by the Israeli military over the Golan Heights. Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet over the Golan Heights, the army said, indicating that it had crossed the ceasefire line into the Israeli-occupied sector. It was the most serious incident to take place on the strategic plateau since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. AFP PHOTO/ JALAA MAREY (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
A Syrian fighter jet is seen in flames after it was hit by the Israeli military over the Golan Heights on September 23, 2014. Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet over the Golan Heights, the army said, indicating that it had crossed the ceasefire line into the Israeli-occupied sector. It was the most serious incident to take place on the strategic plateau since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. AFP PHOTO/ JALAA MAREY (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
A convoy of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) vehicles is seen as it leaves the Syrian side of the Golan Heights into the Israeli-occupied side of the strategic plateau, on September 15, 2014. Troops of the UNDOF were withdrawing from the Syrian part of the Golan Heights due to security reasons. The UNDOF is monitoring a 1974 ceasefire agreement between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights. AFP PHOTO / JALAA MAREY (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, U.N. peacekeepers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, also known as UNDOF, observe Syria's Quneitra province at an observation point on Mt. Bental in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, overlooking the border with Syria. For four decades, a multinational United Nations mission has quietly monitored the sleepy Golan Heights — providing a symbol of stability between bitter enemies as it enforced a truce between Israel and Syria. But as Syria has plunged into civil war and the peacekeepers themselves have become targets of al-Qaida-linked rebels, the U.N. observer force has begun to fall apart, leaving its future — and the prospects for ever establishing peace in this rugged area of the Middle East — in doubt.(AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, Tayes , 86, a Druze shop owner, stands in his shop in Majdal Shams in Israeli-controlled Golan Heights near the border with Syria. For four decades, a multinational United Nations mission has quietly monitored the sleepy Golan Heights — providing a symbol of stability between bitter enemies as it enforced a truce between Israel and Syria. But as Syria has plunged into civil war and the peacekeepers themselves have become targets of al-Qaida-linked rebels, the U.N. observer force has begun to fall apart, leaving its future — and the prospects for ever establishing peace in this rugged area of the Middle East — in doubt. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, a Druze man looks through binoculars towards the fighting in the Syrian side of the Golan as seen from the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. For four decades, a multinational United Nations mission has quietly monitored the sleepy Golan Heights — providing a symbol of stability between bitter enemies as it enforced a truce between Israel and Syria. But as Syria has plunged into civil war and the peacekeepers themselves have become targets of al-Qaida-linked rebels, the U.N. observer force has begun to fall apart, leaving its future — and the prospects for ever establishing peace in this rugged area of the Middle East — in doubt. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
An Israeli soldier observes Syria's Quneitra province at an observation point on Mount Bental in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, overlooking the border with Syria, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli soldiers block a main road near the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on September 1, 2014 , following heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces in Syrian territory, near the Quneitra crossing. Israel downed a drone over the occupied Golan Heights yesterday, the army said, amid mounting tension on the UN-patrolled armistice line with Syria on the strategic plateau. AFP PHOTO /MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
U.N. soldiers observe Syria's Quneitra province at an observation point on Mount Bental in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, overlooking the border with Syria, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
A picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, shows a group of rebel fighters walking behind the Israeli border with Syria near the Quneitra border crossing, on the Syrian side of the Golan, on September 2, 2014. The unrest on Israel's doorstep followed a spillover of mortar and gunfire into Israeli-controlled territory, putting the Jewish state on high alert and prompting it to shoot down a drone over the occupied plateau. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers block a main road near the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on September 1, 2014 , following heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces in Syrian territory, near the Quneitra crossing. Israel downed a drone over the occupied Golan Heights yesterday, the army said, amid mounting tension on the UN-patrolled armistice line with Syria on the strategic plateau. AFP PHOTO /MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers block a main road near the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on September 1, 2014 , following heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces in Syrian territory, near the Quneitra crossing. Israel downed a drone over the occupied Golan Heights yesterday, the army said, amid mounting tension on the UN-patrolled armistice line with Syria on the strategic plateau. AFP PHOTO /MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
In a picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, smoke billows from the Syrian village of Quneitra following an explosion during fighting, between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels, near the Quneitra border crossing on August 31, 2014. Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces overflowed into the buffer zone separating Syrian and Israeli-occupied territory over the weekend. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) use binoculars to watch the Syrian side of the Golan Heights at Mount Bental near the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights on August 31, 2014. Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces flowed into the buffer zone separating Syrian and Israeli-occupied territory at the weekend. Dozens of Filipino UN peacekeepers escaped the hot zone overnight after rebels rammed their Golan Heights outpost with armed trucks, the Philippine military said. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
In a picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, smoke billows from the Syrian village of Quneitra following an explosion during fighting, between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels, near the Quneitra border crossing on August 31, 2014. Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces overflowed into the buffer zone separating Syrian and Israeli-occupied territory over the weekend. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
An Irish member from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) sits in an armoured personnel carrier as he maneuvers, near the border of Syrian territory, close to the town of Buqaata in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on August 31, 2014. Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces flowed into the buffer zone separating Syrian and Israeli-occupied territory at the weekend. Dozens of Filipino UN peacekeepers escaped the hot zone overnight after rebels rammed their Golan Heights outpost with armed trucks, the Philippine military said. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Irish members from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) convoy maneuver, near the border of Syrian territory, close to the town of Buqaata in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on August 31, 2014. Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces flowed into the buffer zone separating Syrian and Israeli-occupied territory at the weekend. Dozens of Filipino UN peacekeepers escaped the hot zone overnight after rebels rammed their Golan Heights outpost with armed trucks, the Philippine military said. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on August 31, 2014, shows members of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) using binoculars to watch the Syrian side of the Golan Heights near the Quneitra border crossing. Some of the UNDOF peacekeepers caught up in heavy fighting on the Golan Heights reached safety after the rebels, some linked to Al-Qaeda, surrounded them and demanded their weapons. AFP PHOTO / JALAA MAREY (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers patrol on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the Quneitra crossing, the only border crossing between Israel and Syria, on August 30, 2014. Philippine UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights clashed with Syrian rebels, Philippine Defence Minister Voltaire Gazmin said in Manila, after Syrian rebels, including fighters from the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, stormed the Golan Heights crossing on August 27, surrounding 70 Filipino UN Peacekeepers. AFP PHOTO/ AHMAD GHARABLI (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Irish members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) sit on their armoured vehicles in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights as they wait to cross into the Syrian-controlled territory, on August 28, 2014. The UN has confirmed that 43 UN peacekeepers were seized in the Syrian Golan. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers work on their tanks following the first death on the Israeli side of the Golan since the Syrian civil war erupted more than three years ago, near the Israeli village of Alonei Habashan, in the area of Tel Hazeka, close to the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Sunday, June 22, 2014. A civilian vehicle in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights was targeted by forces in neighboring Syria on Sunday in an attack that killed a 15-year-old boy and prompted Israeli tanks to retaliate by firing on Syrian government targets, the Israeli military said. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
An ordinance is placed next to a tank following the first death on the Israeli side of the Golan since the Syrian civil war erupted more than three years ago, near the Israeli village of Alonei Habashan, in the area of Tel Hazeka, close to the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Sunday, June 22, 2014. A civilian vehicle in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights was targeted by forces in neighboring Syria on Sunday in an attack that killed a 15-year-old boy and prompted Israeli tanks to retaliate by firing on Syrian government targets, the Israeli military said. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Israeli soldiers work on their tank following the first death on the Israeli side of the Golan since the Syrian civil war erupted more than three years ago, near the Israeli village of Alonei Habashan, in the area of Tel Hazeka, close to the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Israeli soldiers load shells in their tank following the first death on the Israeli side of the Golan since the Syrian civil war erupted more than three years ago, near the Israeli village of Alonei Habashan, in the area of Tel Hazeka, close to the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Sunday, June 22, 2014. A civilian vehicle in the Golan Heights was targeted by forces in neighboring Syria on Sunday in an attack that killed a 15-year-old boy and prompted Israeli tanks to retaliate by firing on Syrian government targets, the Israeli military said. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Israeli soldiers carry shells to their tank following the first death on the Israeli side of the Golan since the Syrian civil war erupted more than three years ago, near the Israeli village of Alonei Habashan, in the area of Tel Hazeka, close to the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Sunday, June 22, 2014. A civilian vehicle in the Golan Heights was targeted by forces in neighboring Syria on Sunday in an attack that killed a 15-year-old boy and prompted Israeli tanks to retaliate by firing on Syrian government targets, the Israeli military said. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
An Israeli soldier carries ordinances to his tank following the first death on the Israeli side of the Golan since the Syrian civil war erupted more than three years ago, near the Israeli village of Alonei Habashan, in the area of Tel Hazeka, close to the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Sunday, June 22, 2014. A civilian vehicle in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights was targeted by forces in neighboring Syria on Sunday in an attack that killed a 15-year-old boy and prompted Israeli tanks to retaliate by firing on Syrian government targets, the Israeli military said. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
An Israeli soldier carries a shell to his tank following the first death on the Israeli side of the Golan since the Syrian civil war erupted more than three years ago, near the Israeli village of Alonei Habashan, in the area of Tel Hazeka, close to the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Sunday, June 22, 2014. A civilian vehicle in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights was targeted by forces in neighboring Syria on Sunday in an attack that killed a 15-year-old boy and prompted Israeli tanks to retaliate by firing on Syrian government targets, the Israeli military said. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
A wounded Israeli soldier is treated in the Golan Heights, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. A roadside bomb hit an Israeli patrol near the frontier with the Golan Heights on Tuesday, the army said, wounding four soldiers in the most serious violence to strike the area since the Syrian conflict began three years ago. Israel said it responded with artillery strikes on Syrian army targets. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed the strategic area in a move that was not internationally recognized. (AP Photo/Jinipix) ****ISRAEL OUT***
Israeli soldiers of the Golani brigade eat after night training near the border with Syria in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Hezbollah says Israel carried out an airstrike targeting its positions in Lebanon near the border with Syria earlier this week, claiming it caused damage but no casualties. The Wednesday statement was the group's first acknowledgement of the reported Monday night airstrikes. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Israeli soldiers of the Golani brigade with prayer shawls after night training near the border with Syria in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Hezbollah says Israel carried out an airstrike targeting its positions in Lebanon near the border with Syria earlier this week, claiming it caused damage but no casualties. The Wednesday statement was the group's first acknowledgement of the reported Monday night airstrikes. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A wounded Israeli soldier is carried to a helicopter in the village of Masade in the Golan Heights, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. A roadside bomb hit an Israeli patrol near the frontier with the Golan Heights on Tuesday, the army said, wounding four soldiers in the most serious violence to strike the area since the Syrian conflict began three years ago. Israel said it responded with artillery strikes on Syrian army targets. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed the strategic area in a move that was not internationally recognized. (AP Photo/Jinipix) ****ISRAEL OUT***
A wounded Israeli soldier is brought to a hospital in Haifa, Israel, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. A roadside bomb hit an Israeli patrol near the frontier with the Golan Heights on Tuesday, the army said, wounding four soldiers in the most serious violence to strike the area since the Syrian conflict began three years ago. Israel said it responded with artillery strikes on Syrian army targets. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed the strategic area in a move that was not internationally recognized. (AP Photo/Hertzel Shapira) ****ISRAEL OUT***
Israeli soldiers of the Golani brigade adjust their weapons during training near the border with Syria in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Hezbollah says Israel carried out an airstrike targeting its positions in Lebanon near the border with Syria earlier this week, claiming it caused damage but no casualties. The Wednesday statement was the group's first acknowledgement of the reported Monday night airstrikes. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Israeli soldiers of the Golani brigade adjust their weapons during training near the border with Syria in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Hezbollah says Israel carried out an airstrike targeting its positions in Lebanon near the border with Syria earlier this week, claiming it caused damage but no casualties. The Wednesday statement was the group's first acknowledgement of the reported Monday night airstrikes. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Syrian civil defense workers rescue a man from under the rubble, on July 25, 2014, after a Syrian government helicopter allegedly dropped a barrel bomb on the Sakhour eastern neighborhood, in the northern city of Aleppo. Dozens of people have been killed in 24 hours of clashes in northern Syria between regime forces and jihadist militants, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. AFP PHOTO / AMC / ZEIN AL-RIFAI (Photo credit should read ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images)
ARSAL, LEBANON - AUGUST 19: Syrian refugee kids are seen at Arsal district where more than a hundred thousand of Syrians, fled from the civil war in their country, are stuck due to the clashes between Lebanese army, Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State, IS,-led terrorist groups, in Arsal, Lebanon on August 19, 2014. (Photo by Ayse Sarioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ARSAL, LEBANON - AUGUST 19: A Syrian refugee kid is seen at Arsal district where more than a hundred thousand of Syrians, fled from the civil war in their country, are stuck due to the clashes between Lebanese army, Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State, IS,-led terrorist groups, in Arsal, Lebanon on August 19, 2014. (Photo by Ayse Sarioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ARSAL, LEBANON - AUGUST 19: A Syrian refugee kid's feet are seen at Arsal district where more than a hundred thousand of Syrians, fled from the civil war in their country, are stuck due to the clashes between Lebanese army, Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State, IS,-led terrorist groups, in Arsal, Lebanon on August 19, 2014. (Photo by Ayse Sarioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ARSAL, LEBANON - AUGUST 19: A Syrian refugee kid plays at Arsal district where more than a hundred thousand of Syrians, fled from the civil war in their country, are stuck due to the clashes between Lebanese army, Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State, IS,-led terrorist groups, in Arsal, Lebanon on August 19, 2014. (Photo by Ayse Sarioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 12: A Syrian kid is rescued from the wreckage by civil defence members following Syrian regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on Bab al-Nairab district of Aleppo, Syria on August 12, 2014. (Photo by Syrian Civil Defense/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Syrian civil defence workers rescue a man from under the rubble of a building following a reported barrel-bomb attack by Syrian government forces on August 11, 2014 in the Bab al-Neirab neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Last month Human Rights Watch said the number of rebel sectors hit by barrel bombs had almost doubled in five months. AFP PHOTO / ZEIN AL-RIFAI (Photo credit should read ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images)
SULAYMANIYAH, IRAQ - JULY 28: Eid al-Fitr is a special celebration for the Muslims, but for Syrian refugee children in a refugee camp, it's a bittersweet time because of the ongoging civil war in their country in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on July 28, 2014. (Photo by Feriq Ferec/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SULAYMANIYAH, IRAQ - JULY 28: Eid al-Fitr is a special celebration for the Muslims, but for Syrian refugee children in a refugee camp, it's a bittersweet time because of the ongoging civil war in their country in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on July 28, 2014. (Photo by Feriq Ferec/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JULY 28: In spite of Syrian civil war, Syrian muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on July 28, 2014 in Aleppo, Syria. During normal times, families in Syria would be busy now with preparations for Eid al-Fitr and visiting each other, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JULY 20: A member of Syrian Islamic Front digs a tunnel that used to explode military quarters of Syrian regime in Aleppo, Syria on July 20, 2014. As the Syrian civil-war continues, they mined a half-mile underground-tunnel, filled it with explosives during ongoing struggles against the Syrian regime. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JULY 20: A member of Syrian Islamic Front carries bags inside the underground-tunnel that uses to explode military quarters of Syrian regime in Aleppo, Syria on July 20, 2014. As the Syrian civil-war continues, they mined a half-mile underground-tunnel, filled it with explosives during ongoing struggles against the Syrian regime. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JULY 19 : An injured kid is taken to hospital after Syrian forces bombed Aleppo's Etarib district, Syria leaving dozens of people injured, including kids on July 18, 2014. (Photo by Mamun Ebu Omer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JULY 16 : A Syrians man lays on the floor as others inspect the damaged building after Syrian regime army helicopters dropped several barrel bombs on opponent-controlled Muyesir region of Aleppo, Syria on July 16, 2014. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JULY 15: Wounded people are treated at the hospitals as a result of air attacks of Syrian army in Aleppo's Atarib district, Syria on July 15, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Udeyb/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Umm Mahmud sits next to her baby Mahmud Idilbi on July 12, 2014 in the Syrian city of Aleppo as a member of Syria Civil Defence has rescued him on June 18 from under the rubble of a building in the war-battered city. Mahmud Idlibi's dramatic rescue in the flashpoint northern city, a constant target of regime air raids, was shown in a video tweeted on July 11, 2014 by the team that saved him. AFP PHOTO/AMC/ZEIN AL-RIFAI (Photo credit should read ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images)
Khaled (R), a member of Syria Civil Defence, kisses Syrian baby Mahmud Idilbi on July 12, 2014 in the Syrian city of Aleppo as Khaled has rescued the baby on June 18 from under the rubble of a building in the war-battered city. Mahmud Idlibi's dramatic rescue in the flashpoint northern city, a constant target of regime air raids, was shown in a video tweeted on July 11, 2014 by the team that saved him. AFP PHOTO/AMC/ZEIN AL-RIFAI (Photo credit should read ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JULY 10: Syrian regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs to Al-Muyassar district of Aleppo that is under control of opposition activist in Aleppo on July 10, 2014. At least 20 people were killed during the operation of Syrian regime forces. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 30: June 30, 2014 dated pictures show many of the mosques in city of Aleppo of Syria lying in ruins as a result of the barrel bomb attacks organized by Assad forces. The Syrians in Aleppo having even more difficult days for Ramadan, the holy month of Muslims, since imams are not able to recite the azan due to the ongoing attacks. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 30: June 30, 2014 dated pictures show many of the mosques in city of Aleppo of Syria lying in ruins as a result of the barrel bomb attacks organized by Assad forces. The Syrians in Aleppo having even more difficult days for Ramadan, the holy month of Muslims, since imams are not able to recite the azan due to the ongoing attacks. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 30: June 30, 2014 dated pictures show many of the mosques in city of Aleppo of Syria lying in ruins as a result of the barrel bomb attacks organized by Assad forces. The Syrians in Aleppo having even more difficult days for Ramadan, the holy month of Muslims, since imams are not able to recite the azan due to the ongoing attacks. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 30: June 30, 2014 dated pictures show many of the mosques in city of Aleppo of Syria lying in ruins as a result of the barrel bomb attacks organized by Assad forces. The Syrians in Aleppo having even more difficult days for Ramadan, the holy month of Muslims, since imams are not able to recite the azan due to the ongoing attacks. (Photo by Halit Suleyman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 25 : At least 15 people were killed and many houses were destroyed after Syrian regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the opposition controlled points of Aleppo on June 25, 2014. (Photo by Halit Suleyman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 25 : At least 15 people were killed and many houses were destroyed after Syrian regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the opposition controlled Tariq al-Bab of Aleppo on June 25, 2014. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 18: Two Syrian children show affection while waiting along with other Syrian refugees who arrived by train to the Milano Centrale railway station from southern Italy, accompanied by Italian police on June 18, 2014 in Milan, Italy. Syria's civil war has forced hundreds of refugees, including children to leave their homes with few possessions and head to the coasts of southern Italy, continuing on to Milan by train to be identified, processed, and apply for refugee status. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 18: Syrian children play games to occupy time while waiting along with other Syrian refugees who arrived by train to the Milano Centrale railway station from southern Italy, accompanied by Italian police on June 18, 2014 in Milan, Italy. Syria's civil war has forced hundreds of refugees, including children to leave their homes with few possessions and head to the coasts of southern Italy, continuing on to Milan by train to be identified, processed, and apply for refugee status. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 18: Syrian refugees arrive by train from southern Italy, accompanied by Italian police and wait in lines to be identified at the Milano Centrale railway station on June 18, 2014 in Milan, Italy. Syria's civil war has forced hundreds of refugees, including children to leave their homes with few possessions and head to the coasts of southern Italy, continuing on to Milan by train to be identified, processed, and apply for refugee status. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 18: Syrian refugees arrive by train to long lines at the Milano Centrale railway station from southern Italy, accompanied by Italian police on June 18, 2014 in Milan, Italy. Syria's civil war has forced hundreds of refugees, including children to leave their homes with few possessions and head to the coasts of southern Italy, continuing on to Milan by train to be identified, processed, and apply for refugee status. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 18: A Syrian baby drinks from a bottle while waiting along with other Syrian refugees who arrived by train to the Milano Centrale railway station from southern Italy, accompanied by Italian police on June 18, 2014 in Milan, Italy. Syria's civil war has forced hundreds of refugees, including children to leave their homes with few possessions and head to the coasts of southern Italy, continuing on to Milan by train to be identified, processed, and apply for refugee status. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA, JUNE 16: Syrian regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the Sukkari neighbourhood, an opposition-held district in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on June 16, 2014, killing at least 36 people, including several children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Right. (Photo by Ahmed Muhammed Ali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA, JUNE 16: Syrian regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the Sukkari neighbourhood, an opposition-held district in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on June 16, 2014, killing at least 36 people, including several children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Right. (Photo by Ahmed Muhammed Ali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA, JUNE 16: Syrian regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the Sukkari neighbourhood, an opposition-held district in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on June 16, 2014, killing at least 36 people, including several children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Right. (Photo by Ahmed Muhammed Ali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 14: Buildings are destroyed and fire starts after a barrel bomb attack in Aleppo, Syria on 14 June, 2014. 20 people killed and tens of people wounded as a result of barrel bomb attack of Syrian army's helicopters. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 13: Many people get wounded and many houses are demolished after a 'vacuum bomb' attack staged by Syrian regime forces' fighter jets in Mari town of Aleppo, Syria on June 13, 2014. People carry out search and rescue operation at the debris of the houses. (Photo by Mamun Ebu Omer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 13: Many people get wounded and many houses are demolished after a 'vacuum bomb' attack staged by Syrian regime forces' fighter jets in Mari town of Aleppo, Syria on June 13, 2014. People carry out search and rescue operation at the debris of the houses. (Photo by Mamun Ebu Omer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 7: Many houses are demolished and damaged in an air attack staged by Syrian regime's air forces to Hayyan town of Aleppo, Syria on June 7, 2014. (Photo by Mamun Ebu Omer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 4: Military troops of Syrian Islamic Front attack military quarters which belongs to Syrian regime in south of Aleppo, Syria on June 4, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 02 : At least 15 people including children were killed and many injured after Syrian regime forces have launched an air attack in Aleppo, Syria on June 2, 2014. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 02 : At least 15 people including children were killed and many injured after Syrian regime forces have launched an air attack in Aleppo, Syria on June 2, 2014. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 02 : At least 15 people including children were killed and many injured after Syrian regime forces have launched an air attack in Aleppo, Syria on June 2, 2014. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 3: Apartments are destroyed on the attack of Syrian army with heavy weapons in Aleppo, Syria on 3 June, 2014. It is informed that 100 people (13 children, 7 women) died on the attack. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JUNE 02 : At least 15 people including children were killed and many injured after Syrian regime forces have launched an air attack in Aleppo, Syria on June 2, 2014. (Photo by Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - MAY 28 : Many people died and many houses demolished after Syrian regime forces have launched an air attack in the town of Mari, Aleppo on May 28, 2014. (Photo by Mamun Ebu Omer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A fireman sprays water on Syrian expatriates living in Lebanon to keep them cool, as they arrive to cast their ballots in their country's presidential elections, outside the Syrian Embassy in Yarze east of Beirut on May 28, 2014. Filling the streets around the embassy in Beirut, thousands of Syrians turned out to vote in a controversial presidential election that Bashar al-Assad is expected to clinch effortlessly, as civil war rages. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEPH EID (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
A Syrian living in Jordan takes part in a protest against the Syrian presidential elections, near the Syrian embassy in Amman on May 28, 2014. Polls open in Syrian embassies for refugees who fled their homeland through recognised checkpoints, in a controversial election expected to return President Bashar al-Assad to office despite three years of civil war. AFP PHOTO/ KHALIL MAZRAAWI (Photo credit should read KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images)
A fireman sprays water on Syrian expatriates living in Lebanon to keep them cool, as they arrive to cast their ballots in their country's presidential elections, outside the Syrian Embassy in Yarze east of Beirut on May 28, 2014. Filling the streets around the embassy in Beirut, thousands of Syrians turned out to vote in a controversial presidential election that Bashar al-Assad is expected to clinch effortlessly, as civil war rages. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEPH EID (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue teams carry victims pulled out from the rubble of a destroyed building following a barrel bomb strike said to be launched by Syrian government forces on May 26, 2014 in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo in which serveral people were reported killed or wounded. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, facing two little-known challengers in a June 3 presidential election, is widely expected to clinch a third seven-year term despite Syria's civil war, which has killed more than 160,000 people. AFP PHOTO / BARAA AL-HALABI (Photo credit should read BARAA AL-HALABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian men search the rubble for survivors in a destroyed building following reported barrel bomb strikes by Syrian government forces on May 26, 2014 in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, facing two little-known challengers in a June 3 presidential election, is widely expected to clinch a third seven-year term despite Syria's civil war, which has killed more than 160,000 people. AFP PHOTO / BARAA AL-HALABI (Photo credit should read BARAA AL-HALABI/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - MAY 4: Islamic Front forces staged a Grad rocket attack in Breyc village, under the control of Syrian regime, Aleppo on May 4, 2013. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - MAY 4: Islamic Front forces staged a Grad rocket attack in Breyc village, under the control of Syrian regime, Aleppo on May 4, 2013. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Wounded people receive medical care at a makeshift hospital following a reported bombardment with explosive-packed 'barrel bombs' by Syrian government forces on May 4, 2014 in the al-Sakhour district of the northern city of Aleppo. The June 3 election in Syria is being held amid a brutal civil war that has killed more than 150,000 people since March 2011 and made millions homeless. AFP PHOTO / AMC / ZEIN AL RIFAI (Photo credit should read ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - MAY 3: At least 53 people including women and children were killed on Saturday in rebel-held areas of Syria, which were hit by regime artillery and airstrikes in Aleppo on May 3, 2014. (Photo by Mamun Ebu Omer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - MAY 3: At least 53 people including women and children were killed on Saturday in rebel-held areas of Syria, which were hit by regime artillery and airstrikes in Aleppo on May 3, 2014. (Photo by Mamun Ebu Omer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HATAY, TURKEY - APRIL 28: 2 of the 34 Syrians wounded during the clashes in Kasab town of Latakia, near turkish border, who were brought to Turkish city of Hatay has lost their lives, April 28, 2014. (Photo by Halit Demir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian rebels, including fighters from an al-Qaida-linked group, seized control of a frontier crossing with Israel in the Golan Heights on Wednesday after heavy clashes with President Bashar Assad's forces, activists and rebel said.

The capture of the post along Syria's de facto border in the Golan held more symbolic value than strategic, but rebels said it would provide relief to nearby villages that were under siege by government troops.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an array of rebel fighters, including from the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, took the crossing after heavy fighting that left at least 20 Syrian soldiers and an unknown number of rebels dead.

It said clashes also raged in the towns of Jaba, Tal Kroum and Rawadi in Quneitra province.

Gen. Ibrahim Jbawi, the spokesman for the Free Syrian Army's southern front, as well as the Local Coordination Committees activist group, also confirmed the rebel gains.

Israel's military said earlier that an army officer stationed in the Golan Heights was wounded by errant fire Wednesday from the Syrian side of the frontier. It did not immediately comment on the crossing takeover.

The army said the fire appeared to be spillover from heavy fighting inside Syria. From the Israeli side of the de facto border, large clouds of smoke could be seen, as gunfire and explosions sounded in the distance. Israeli soldiers observed the fighting.

Israel has avoided taking sides in the war, but has responded when the violence has spilled across the border. In its response, the military said it targeted two Syrian army positions and "hits were confirmed." It gave no further details.

Israel says it holds the Syrian government responsible for any violence that emanates from its territory.

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