The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed seven militants, suspected to be members of the Islamic State (IS), in an airstrike on the Syrian-held area of the Golan Heights on the night of Wednesday, August 1 (local time), after militants reportedly crossed the Israeli border. Clashes between IS militants and Syrian forces continued in the area following the attack, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). On Thursday, August 2, Russia announced it will deploy troops to secure the ceasefire line in the Golan Heights that separates the Israeli and Syrian borders.
The incident comes as the Syrian government, backed by Russian forces, continues its advance on the opposition-held areas of Syria's southwest region. Israel has recently responded to the ongoing conflict near its border with airstrikes; on July 24, the IDF shot down a Syrian warplane reportedly in Israeli airspace.
Syria remains enmeshed in a complex civil war that started between the Assad government and opposition forces in March 2011. Today, the conflict involves many parties, including the Syrian government, the Russian government, the Iranian government, the Turkish government, a US-led coalition, and numerous armed groups on the ground (including the Islamic State) with competing goals.
Individuals in Israel are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.
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