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    Israeli Paraglider Crosses Into Syria, Allegedly to Join Rebels

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    An Israeli man of Arab origin has crossed the well-fortified border with Syria using a paraglider in an alleged attempt to join the opposition fighting against President Bashar Assad, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said Sunday.

    TEL AVIV/MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The incident, which took place on Saturday evening, forced the Israeli army to launch a search operation in the Golan Heights separating the Jewish state from Syria.

    "IDF surveillance post identified a paraglider entering Syria. Initial investigation suggests Israeli-Arab crossed intentionally," the Israeli army said in a Twitter posting.

    Local media reported the paraglider was a 23-years old resident of an Arab settlement located northeast of Tel Aviv. The investigation believes the man intended to follow 40 Israelis who previously joined one of the Syrian opposition groups.

    Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011. Syrian government forces are fighting against opposition factions and extremist groups, including Islamic State radicals.

    Israeli authorities have repeatedly stated that the country did not interfere in the ongoing civil war in Syria, but it would take measures to protect the interests of Israel.


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