June 6 - Fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces spilled beyond Syria’s borders into Lebanon and the Golan Heights along the Israeli border on Thursday, forcing nearly half of the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights to announce a withdrawal. Mana Rabiee reports.
The Syrian crisis spills beyond its borders again. Syrian forces fought off a rebel assault Thursday in a demilitarized zone of the Golan Heights, along the Syrian-Israeli border. About 1,000 UN peacekeepers have been stationed here -- monitoring a decades-old ceasefire between Syria and Israel. Austria said it will withdraw its nearly 400 peacekeepers, dealing a blow to the UN mission. The latest fighting also has Israel concerned the Golan Heights could become a springboard for Jihadi attacks on Israelis. And Lebanon, too, is becoming embroiled. Thursday's clashes came one day after rebels lost control of an important town close to the Lebanese border. Lebanon's Hezbollah guerillas, fighting alongside Syrian forces, were instrumental in that battle, and rebels have said they'll take revenge on Hezbollah for their loss. Lebanon's state-news agency said on Thursday rockets hit the town of Baalbeck, a Hezbollah stronghold. But the main fighting continues in Syria's major cities. Amateur video released Thursday, which Reuters can't verify, purports to show shelling near Homs and in the capital Damascus.