In August, al Nusra Front jihadists took control of Syria's side of the border crossing with Israel and kidnapped over 40 United Nations peacekeepers — who have since been released.
But al Nusra Front, an al Qaeda-affiliate, isn't Israel's only threat from Syria. President Bashar al-Assad's military, in a possible effort to bait Israel into its civil war to shore up Arab sympathies, has been lobbing mortars across the border. Just a few weeks ago, the Israeli military shot down a Syrian plane flying over the Golan Heights — the first time it has done so since the 1980s.
In part one of a five-part series, VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky gets exclusive access to an IDF special operation, highlighting an unusual relationship they have with their Syrian enemies across the border.