As Israel's Syria aid operation winds down, IDF begins dismantling field clinic
[IsraelTimes] Move comes after Operation Good Neighbor 'frozen' amid Assad regime and Russian offensive that retakes control of border area.
The Mazor Ladach field clinic, whose name means "relief for the suffering," was part of the army’s multi-faceted humanitarian relief operation, dubbed Operation Good Neighbor and launched in 2013.
Israel has treated thousands of Syrians in field hospitals on the border and in public hospitals, mostly in northern Israel, over the past five years. Since 2016, as part of the operation, more than 600 Syrian children, accompanied by their mothers, have come to Israel for treatment. Hundreds of tons of food, medical equipment and clothing have also been sent across the border to Syria.
But over the past week, the IDF has reportedly begun to scale back its border operations and close the border to fleeing civilians seeking medical care. The reason: Syrian government forces have completed their takeover of the area bordering Israel’s Golan Heights from rebel groups, leaving the Damascus government in charge of the area and responsible for civilians’ well-being there.
The army’s decision represents the first time that the border will be completely closed to any Syrian civilians since Good Neighbor was initiated. Officials stressed, however, that the program has not been permanently shuttered and rather only "frozen" until the outcome of the Syrian government offensive, and its consequences for civilians in the border area, becomes clear.
Rebels captured the area along the Golan Heights after a popular uprising broke out against Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir
Light of the Alawites...
in 2011. An IS-linked outfit known as the Khaled bin al-Waleed Army later seized the area from the opposition fighters.
The region is strategically important for Syria because it also controls a key highway from the Jordanian border to the capital, Damascus.
UN peacekeeping forces first deployed along the frontier in 1974 to separate Syrian and Israeli forces.
|Posted by trailing wife 2018-08-04 00:00||
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