Nov 7, 2014 7:04 AM

Clashes in Syria near Golan Heights

The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) Syrian troops battled rebels near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and the Lebanon border until the early hours of Friday in clashes that killed and wounded dozens, activists and state media said.

State news agency SANA said government forces have killed "a number of terrorists and wounded many others" in the southwestern village of Beit Jin. The government refers to opposition fighters and members of jihadi groups as terrorists.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighting that began Thursday left 26 pro-government forces and 14 rebels and jihadi fighters dead. The Britain-based group gathers its information from activists on the ground in Syria.

The area near Mount Hermon along the disputed borders between the three countries has seen weeks of heavy clashes as rebels and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front have pressed an offensive.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said Lebanese troops prevented Syrians from bringing in 11 wounded people from the Beit Jin area.

Nusra Front fighters and some rebel factions have captured wide areas on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, including the town of Quneitra and its crossing point. Israel captured the strategic plateau in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

More than 190,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict, which began in March 2011 with largely peaceful protests against President Bashar Assad and turned into civil war after a brutal military crackdown.


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