The IDF Spokesperson tweeted the following out this morning:
Today, in accordance with situational assessments, areas bordering Quneitra deemed closed military zones, will return to routine activity
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) June 28, 2017
While this is a good short-term development, notifying the end to what seemed to be an acute situation on the Syrian border, the message should be taken very superficially. The spillover into the Israeli side of the Golan was certainly nerve-wracking for the residents of Northern Israel, yet the fact that the IDF took great pains to focus their return fire on the Syrian regime should be a warning on just how close regime forces and their Iranian allies have come to once again claiming the Golan border.
The retaliation by the IDF against the Syrian regime in many ways goes far beyond the scope of Israel’s claimed focus of their relationship to the many sides in the Syrian civil war.
It is no accident that the IDF retaliated heavily on regime positions at the same moment the FSA was leading and offensive to cut through the road leading from Damascus to Daraa. The regime forces of Assad and his Iranian allies have yet to fully crush the resistance in Daraa and so the FSA was trying to break their supply lines.
For the first time Israel was willing to show Syria some of their hand in order to relay a message. “Quneitra is off-limits.” The Quneitra based division of the FSA is more and more becoming aligned with Israel. What started out as simple humanitarian gestures have morphed into an Israeli backed rebel militia.
With Hezbollah stationed oppositie Har Dov and routinely coming close to the base there, Israel can ill-afford to have the Syrian regime and Iran take up positions opposite the Eastern border of the Golan.
As the Trump administration weighs its next move against the Syrian regime, Israel is moving fast to push back againstAssad’s forces without fully entering the civil war.