IDF: We Will Protect Syrian Druze Village in Golan Heights from Jihadists

Israeli Hit by Syrian Gunfire; IDF Prepares to Enter Bloody Civil War

Breaking News: IDF Bolsters Troop Levels in Golan Heights

The statement was an unusually explicit Israeli pledge to intervene in the war in Syria, where Israeli officials are voicing deeper alarm at the role of Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, which are fighting alongside the Syrian government.

The Quneitra area of Syria, where Hader village is located, is particularly sensitive to Israel because it is adjacent to the Golan Heights area that it captured from Syria in 1967.

"In recent hours we witness the intensifying of the fighting at the area of the Druze village of Hader in the Syrian part of the Golan Heights", IDF (Israel Defense Force) spokesperson Ronen Manelis said in a statement, as quoted by The Jerusalem Post.

Later on, the militants also carried out an attack on units of the army and pro-government militants in the area.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it, a move never recognised by the global community.

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.

Hader, a town just inside Syrian territory, is reportedly being targeted by the Nusra Front, formally known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

Several dozens of them cut the border fence and crossed over in a bid to reach Khadr and defend it before they were apprehended and brought back by Israeli troops.

Syrian state media accused Israel of giving various kinds of support to the Nusra Front. "The IDF is prepared and ready to assist the residents of the village and prevent damage to or the capture of the village Hader out of commitment to the Druze population", he added.

However, according to foreign reports, Israel has financially supported other southern Syria opposition groups in order to ensure forces friendly to Israel control the Syrian side of the northern Golan border. In a statement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that "we are constantly watching our borders, both north and south, in order to ensure security".

But it has bombed Syrian territory on a sporadic basis, sometimes in response to stray Syrian army fire. Israeli Druze attempted to help as well, as they broke through the border fence in an attempt to help their compatriots in the battle.