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Just a few weeks after an Israeli airstrike killed several Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp members near Qunaitra in southern Syria, pro-regime forces, spearheaded by Hezbollah and the IRCG, launched a massive strike in the area of Deraa, which is largely under rebel and Nusra Front control.Ten days later, Hezbollah responded with an attack that killed two Israeli soldiers in the disputed area of Ghajar, near the Syrian, Lebanese and Israeli borders.Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Iran, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite militias have been active in Syria.A Syrian opposition site, Syria Mubasher, added that military operations were being led by the IRGC, Hezbollah and Afghani Shiite forces, and that the Syrian army had little presence in the area.In such a context, Hezbollah and Iran are committed to setting up a base in southern Syria, with the dual aim of beating back the Syrian rebels and extending the Iranian battlefront against Israel from Lebanon to Syria.The Deraa offensive led by Iran and Hezbollah indicates that the positioning of Iranian forces and its proxies in closer proximity to the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights remains a priority for Iranian strategists.
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