Israel considering Syria operation to 'assist' Druze after vehicle bomb

Sheikh Mowafak Abu Tariff the chief spiritual leader of the Druze in Israel and former minister Saleh Tarif with Northern Divison commander Yoel Strick

Defense officials have confirmed to TPS that IDF troops have been called to the northern Golan region in order to bolster forces there, and police spokespeople said police units have deployed around the north in order to protect Israeli residents.

Hader has been aligned with the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad (the Druze are typically loyal to whichever party is in power), making it a target for all of the various rebel and Islamist groups participating in Syria's civil war.

The Israeli government "tactically retreated" from its decision to "support the so-called Syrian opposition from occupying the Syrian Druze village of Hader", the ministry's statement said.

In a departure from Israel's policy of minimal intervention in Syria's civil war, the Israeli army said it would help defend a Druze village in Syria where Sunni militants killed nine people.

The agency said the toll can rise as a number of injured are in serious condition and the ongoing clashes in the town make it hard to remove the injured to safety.

It said that in addition to exchange of fire and shelling, there was a big explosion caused by the detonation of a booby-trapped vehicle by one of the rebel groups at the entrance to Hader.

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The IDF statement was issued in the wake of heavy fighting in Khader on Friday morning.

Syrian state media said Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly the Nusra Front, was responsible for the bomb which killed nine people and injured 23 in southwestern Quneitra.

According to the "local sources", the demonstrators tried to cross the ceasefire line to support the families of Hader "in confronting the terrorist attacks amid reinforcements of the enemy's soldiers to prevent them from advancing".

The sources added that the Israeli Occupied Forces closed all the roads leading from the occupied Palestine to prevent the arrival of hundreds of Arab citizens to the occupied Golan to support the people in Hadar.

Israel's Druze, some of whom have reached the senior echelons of the Israeli military and government, have been calling for help on behalf of their brethren in Syria, both at home and overseas. Syria says the raids aim to help Takfiri militants fighting against government forces.

The military said that Tel Aviv's commitment to the Druze community is connected to the community's loyalty to the Israeli state.

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