(Times of Israel) The Syrian villages along the border with Israel have been taken over by anti-Assad rebels, and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have fled, an activist on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights told The Times of Israel on Monday.

The Quneitra border crossing is still being held by the Syrian regime, he added, but only because the rebels prefer not to take control if it, given the political sensitivities of such a move.

Aiman Abu-Jable, an anti-Assad activist from Majdal Shams who edits the Arabic news website Jawlan.org, said that according to information he has received from the Syrian side, Assad’s army has vacated the entire border area with Israel and fled to the Damascus region, where intense fighting is underway.

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