Thousands are trapped between the regime’s missiles and minefields along the frontier with Israel

It’s a regular stop for holidaymakers in Israel. American teenagers, some of them boys in sleeveless basketball tops, cluster on hilltop lookouts in the Golan Heights, a volcanic plateau captured from Syria half a century ago. Visitors ride quad bikes along dusty paths or spend the day touring the area’s vineyards. Signs on the roads warn of the risks to tourists: “Caution – cyclists ahead.”

For Syrians on the other side of a fortified perimeter fence, there are more pressing concerns. Thousands have gathered as close to the border as possible, gambling their lives on the assumption that Syrian government forces fighting rebels will not bring the battle too close to Israel.

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Read More Syrian refugees cling to life on Golan Heights as Assad’s net tightens

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