Pro-Assad forces raised the Syrian flag in Quneitra on Thursday, as the government continued its push to regain full control of the Syrian Golan Heights, strategic territory that borders Israel and Jordan.
A Reuters photographer saw uniformed men raise the Syrian national flag and the black, white, green and red flag of the Baath Party in the long-abandoned city. No weapons were immediately visible.
The Reuters photographer was reporting from a vantage point on the Israeli Golan Heights that overlooks Quneitra.
Forces supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, backed by a Russian air campaign, have been pushing into Quneitra province following an offensive last month that routed rebels in adjoining Daraa province who were once backed by Washington, Jordan and Gulf states.
Damascus is set to recover control of the Golan in a major victory over rebels, who have agreed to surrender terms. The army is still battling a local Islamic State affiliate around the Yarmouk Basin nearby.
Israel says it is concerned that Assad may defy a 1974 UN armistice that demilitarized much of the Golan, or let his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah reinforcements deploy there. Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six Day war.
Israel also sees Iran's growing presence in Syria as a threat to its security, hance escalating in recent months its strikes on suspected Iranian and Iran-backed positions in Syria.
The Syrian news agency SANA reported Sunday evening that an Israeli air strike had hit a military post in the city of Misyaf in Syria's Hama province but caused only material damage.
The Russian Defense Ministry praised Israel Thursday after the IDF's attack on ISIS forces in the Syrian Golan area killed several members of the terrorist organization and destroyed rocket launchers.
According to the Russian news agency Sputnik, the ISIS terrorists were trying on Wednesday to fire missiles at Syrian army positions, but hit Israel instead with two BM-21 rockets that landed in the Kinneret.
A series of suicide bombings and attacks in southern Syria, including a motorcycle bomber who struck at a busy vegetable market, killed more than 100 people on Wednesday, state media reported, blaming Islamic State militants for the carnage.
The bombings in the city of Sweiba, a provincial capital populated by Syria's minority Druze, were apparently timed to coincide with attacks by a militant group linked to ISIS on a number of villages in the province, also called Sweida.
The coordinated attacks—the worst in recent months—had all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group and were reminiscent of its horrific assaults that spread mayhem over the past years in Syria, already ravaged by civil war.
Associated Press contributed to this article.