WEAPONS STASH: The Syrian Revolutionaries Front celebrated the seizure of what rebels call “the third-largest weapons cache in Syria” on Wednesday, one day after gaining control of the western Ahmar Hills in Quneitra province.

“The Ahmar Hills are at the center of the province, and next to the border with Israel, whose western slope is only 1,500 meters away,” Jamal al-Jolani, a pro-opposition media activist, told Syria Direct.

“Regime forces use the hills as a base from which to launch military operations—bombardment and otherwise—in liberated territory in Quneitra,” Jolani added. Rebels had been encircling the hills since January of this year.

Last week, rebels announced two military campaigns in Quneitra: “The Echo of Anfal” and “the Dawn of Unity in Support of Anfal,” referencing the ongoing “Anfal” campaign in Latakia province.

The advance on the Tel Ahmar hills began on Monday, when rebel groups led by the Islamic Front seized the hill’s western slope. On Thursday, rebels continue to encircle government forces toward the hill’s east, as rebels uploaded a video of airlifted supplies intended for government troops falling into rebel territory.

The two sides continue to trade fire: rebel groups said they had launched 60-caliber mortars into the encircled regime-controlled eastern Tel Ahmar hill as regime troops fire artillery shelling in the other direction.  

Doha-based analyst Charles Lister wrote Thursday that the rebels had seized what appear to be RPG-29s and ATGMs, echoing the suggestions of a combatant toward the end of the video.

Quneitra is located in southwestern Syria, and includes the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Video courtesy of the Abu Saraj al-Lajah.

-April 10, 2014

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