The fallen base
Syrian rebels seize security compound near Golan Heights
The Syrian military intelligence base near the Israeli border was siezed by opposition forces on Sunday, rebel commanders said
A Syrian military compound in the town of Shagara, 8 kms from a ceasefire line with Israel, fell after a five-day siege, sources said.


Messages on Facebook pages associated with the rebels in south Syria said, “the heroes of the Free Syrian Army broke into the military facility in the city of Jara after Assad’s gangs took fighters of the Free Syria Army as prisoners of war...and used them as human shields. They were found dead when the facility was breached.


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The rebels told of how they broke into the facility over the weekend and how Assad’s army caused high losses. According to the rebels, the unit that took control of the base is the “Martyrs of Yarmouk,” active on the southern outskirts of the Dara district close to the border with Golan Heights. This is the same unit that kidnapped 21 Phillipine UN peacekeepers last week. The peacekeepers were released after a few days.  

Film clip from captured base


In the past year, the battles in the Syrian civil war have reached the border with Israel and in a few instances, bullets and mortar shells have crossed the border and landed in Israel.


In another blow to the Syrian regime, a high ranking military official, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Ezz al-Din Khalouf, defected with his son, Capt. Ezz al-Din Khalouf, to Jordan. One of the highest-ranking military officers yet to abandon the Syrian President, the elder al-Din Khalouf said that morale among those still inside the regime had collapsed.  

Rebel shows off captured base, walks on photo of Assad's brother 


Media outlets and human rights activists in the country reported that the general and 20 soldiers deserted and joined the rebels. In a video that ran on the television network “Alarabiya,” the general said that he had planned his escape in cooperation with the Syrian opposition over a long period of time. “No one can accept the ideas of the Syrian regime, it is simply impossible,” the general said in the clip.


Official media outlets reported the defection of the general. Widespread defections among conscripts and low-level soldiers had sapped the Syrian army's infantry throughout the two year civil war, but high-level defections had been rare. The most senior ranking officer to leave has been Assad’s right-hand man, Manaf Tlas.


About 70,000 people have lost their lives since the start of the conflict and according to numbers released by the UN, 4-million of the country’s 22-million inhabitants have been forced to leave their homes.



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