Syrian army says it captures strategic hill overlooking Israeli border


AMMAN: The Syrian army has taken control of a strategic hill that overlooks the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, state television said on Monday.

It said the army had taken control of al-Haara hill in the second day of an offensive to seize remaining parts of southwest Syria that are in rebel hands and are close to the border with Israel.

The hilltop, which had a major anti-aircraft radar base that was part of elaborate Syrian army defenses against Israel, fell into rebel hands in October 2014.

It has been heavily bombed by Russian and Syrian army raids in the last two days as the army moved closer to the Israeli border after gaining control of most of Deraa province to the east, according to rebels and a war monitor.

Israel signaled it would not impede the Syrian army offensive, even as it struck Syrian army posts near the frontier and elsewhere where it suspects Iranian backed forces are stationed.