Fighting between Syrian government forces and opposition fighters has intensified in the Quneitra province in the country’s south, situated in the roughly 30 percent of the Golan Heights under Syrian control.
More than a dozen people were killed, including both pro-government forces and opposition fighters, in the latest uptick in fighting in the countryside of al-Baath city and near the town of Khan Arnab, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Sunday.
The deaths came as the al-Qaeda-linked Levant Liberation Committee [Hayat Tahrir al-Sham] and allied anti-government groups launched an offensive to take control of al-Baath city, one of the few towns in the province that has remained under control of Syrian government forces in recent years.
Also on Sunday, Israeli fighter jets targeted Syrian government positions in the region for a second day in a row, reportedly destroying a handful of tanks.
The UK-based SOHR reported that the strikes killed two Syrian army soldiers and injured several others.
After Israeli air strikes hit the area on Saturday, Syrian state news agency SANA accused Israel of supporting the Levant Liberation Committee, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.
Israel has been occupying roughly 70 percent of the Golan Heights following the 1967 Middle East war.
Since the outbreak of fighting in the Golan region in 2012, it has carried out sporadic air strikes mostly targeting government forces and their allies.
In recent months, President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russian air power, have gained ground in Syria from opposition fighters and armed groups.