The top of Mount Hermon bristles with the golfball antennae, surveillance masts and bunkers that make up Israel’s northernmost intelligence base. Damascus is a blur in the distance, but the villages on the edge of the Golan Heights are easily visible below, deceptively peaceful in the afternoon sun.
Perched on the windswept 6,500 ft peak, the Israeli army has a bird’s eye view of what is happening as Syria disintegrates. Hadr, a pro-regime Druze village, fell to rebel fighters on Wednesday. Nearby Jubata al-Khashab is held by loyalist forces. Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaida, is advancing.