Syrian army boosts air defences near Golan frontier - pro-Assad commander

  • Wednesday 13, June 2018 in 12:19 AM
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Syrian army has reinforced its anti-aircraft defences near the frontier with the Israeli occupation -occupied Golan Heights, a commander in the regional alliance that backs President Bashar al-Assad said on Tuesday.
Additional defences are set to be deployed in the coming days, the commander told Reuters. The stationing of the Russian-made Pantsir S1 weapon aims "to renew the air defence system against Israeli occupation in the first degree", added the commander, a non-Syrian who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Syria's multi-sided war has pivoted towards the southwest in recent weeks, risking escalation in an area of major concern to Israeli occupation where the conflict has been contained since last year by an agreement underwritten by the United States and Russia.
Last month, Israel accused Damascus-allied Iranian forces of launching a rocket salvo across the frontier, triggering ferocious air strikes into Syria against what Israeli occupation described as Iran-backed positions. 
The Syrian government has separately been preparing an assault on rebels who hold territory at the border with Israeli occupation and Jordan. This led Washington last month to warn of "firm and appropriate measures" against any ceasefire violations.
The commander said preparations for the government offensive in the southwest were complete but government forces were now working to finish off a pocket of Daesh militants near the government-held town of Sweida.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said this month the government aimed to recapture insurgent areas in the southwest through a settlement in which fighters accept state rule or leave - the approach used by the state to win back other areas.