Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Israel's role in the Syria war

This post contains info about Israel's role in the Syrian war. Initially this part of the foreign involvement post where I keep track of developments in foreign involvement in the Syrian uprising. But as Israel is getting more involved by the day I believe it deserves a separate page.

18 September 2014: Syrian Rebel Commander says he Collaborated with Israel: "Times Of Israel" -- A Free Syrian Army commander, arrested last month by the Islamist militia Al-Nusra Front, told his captors he collaborated with Israel in return for medical and military support, in a video released this week.
>In a video uploaded to YouTube Monday by the
Executive Sharia Council in the eastern Daraa Region, an Islamic court established by Al-Nusra in southern Syria, Sharif As-Safouri, the commander of the Free Syrian Army’s Al-Haramein Battalion, admitted to having entered Israel five times to meet with Israeli officers who later provided him with Soviet anti-tank weapons and light arms. Safouri was abducted by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in the Quneitra area, near the Israeli border, on July 22.

24 Februari 2014 :Military option against Syria is alive: According to reports, Israel has also been involved, and even provided active assistance in at least one attack by rebel troops four months ago, when its communications and intelligence base on Mount Hermon jammed the Syrian army’s communications system and the information relayed between its fighting forces and their headquarters.

18 September 2013: Israeli general says Assad could survive in Syria for years: Interviewed by the Jerusalem Post, ambassador Oren described Assad's defeat as welcome even if it were at the hands of al Qaeda-linked rebels more hostile to the Jewish state.

7 September 2013: Getting sucked in?: At the same time, Israel's army is letting people know more about the help it is giving Syria's rebels. An Israeli military field hospital on opposition-held territory on the Golan Heights frontier has treated hundreds of rebels, says Yediot Ahronot, Israel's biggest-selling paper, and some civilians for whom the Free Syria Army has co-ordinated passage. The army has also moved some 150 war-wounded for treatment in Israel proper.
A couple of dozen Israeli aid workers in Syria have also helped drum up funds and support for the rebels back home. A former flight-attendant has led teams of up to eight Israelis into Syria. She says that she has delivered satellite phones, chemical suits and 300,000 dry meals since arriving in Deraa, the southern city where the uprising began in March 2011, and has succeeded in airlifting some Syrian injured to Tel Aviv. Nir Boms, an academic who used to work at Israel's embassy in Washington, says that he has helped deliver hundreds of tonnes of aid to Syrian refugees. "Syrians had no idea who Israelis were for 65 years," says Moti Kahana, a computer entrepreneur who has spent time with the rebels at their office in Washington as well as in Syria. "We've built a bridge." Amongst his successes, he counts arranging the visit to Syria last May of Senator John McCain, who has argued vigorously in favour of an American strike against the Assad regime. "In 1943 the world could have bombed Auschwitz," says Mr Kahana. "It's my duty as an Israeli and as a Jew to ensure that it never happens again."

6 September 2013: Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria: Israel favor for the being a policy that lets neither side win. A prolonged conflict is perceived as hurting Iran, which finances Mr. Assad’s war effort. Whether Mr. Obama follows through on his promise to retaliate for the use of chemical weapons is a test of his commitment, ultimately, to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb — as long as the retaliation does not become a full-scale intervention in Syria. “If it’s Iran-first policy, then any diversion to Syria is not fruitful,” said Aluf Benn, editor of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “From the Israeli point of view, the worst scenario is mission-creep in Syria and America gets entangled in a third war in the Middle East, which paralyzes its ability to strike Iran and limits Israel’s ability to strike Iran as well.”

2 September 2013: Obama’s Syria Decision Greeted Silently by Israel: while Israel's preference for attack is clear for anyone involved it goes to great lengths to stay quiet in public.

6 August 2013: Across Forbidden Border, Doctors in Israel Quietly Tend to Syria’s Wounded

30 July 2013: Israel, allies trying to hold onto Aleppo by arming militants: Redwan Rizk: ...a report in Israeli media that says Israel has made a 50 million dollar arms deal to supply Saudi Arabia with weapons and equipment for the insurgency in Syria.

28 July 2013: Report: Israel Bombs Another Syrian Weapons Convoy

15 July 2013: Israel tones down opposition to Western arming of Syrian rebels

29 May 2013: Russia to deliver arms to Syria as fears rise of proxy war: Russia said on Tuesday that it would supply one of its most advanced anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian government hours after the EU ended its arms embargo on the country's rebels, raising the prospect of a rapidly escalating proxy war in the region if peace talks fail in Geneva next month. Israel quickly issued a thinly veiled warning that it would bomb the Russian S-300s if they were deployed in Syria as such a move would bring the advanced guided missiles within range of civilian and military planes in Israeli air space.

24 May 2013: Israel Finding Itself Drawn Into Syria’s Turmoil: Several Israelis who follow Syria closely said Israeli security forces had already been quietly working with villagers who support neither the government nor the rebels, supplying moderate humanitarian aid and maintaining intense intelligence activity. But they said any notion of arming such villagers was far off if not far-fetched, noting that the main Druse leadership in Syria has so far stayed steadfastly out of the conflict.

15 May 2013: Israel ‘will bring down Assad’ if he retaliates for future airstrikes: Israeli source tells NY Times further raids contemplated on weapons shipments. Israel has warned Damascus that if President Assad chooses to hit back at Israel for any further Israeli military strikes, Israel will bring down his regime.

5 May 2013: Syria Blames Israel for Fiery Attack in Damascus
4 May 2013: Israel Targeted Iranian Missiles in Syria Attack

22 March 2013: CIA Expands Role in Syria Fight: The Central Intelligence Agency is expanding its role in the campaign against the Syrian regime by feeding intelligence to select rebel fighters to use against government forces, current and former U.S. officials said. [..] The U.S. also relies on Israeli and Jordanian spy agencies, which have extensive spy networks inside Syria, U.S. and European officials said.

27 February 2013: Six Syrian rebels hospitalized in Israel returned to Syria: The men were wounded Feb. 16 near Israel's security fence with Syria in the Golan Heights during clashes between the Syrian army and rebel forces in Syria's 2-year-old civil war. Israeli soldiers brought the Syrians to Ziv Hospital in Safed. One of the Syrians was severely wounded and the rest were injured from bullets and shrapnel, with some requiring surgery.
Israel may be operating in Syria goes further and claims that Israeli troops are operating inside Syria to help. Later on Israel gave the rebels also entropine and other antidotes against chemical warfare.
Debka (Israeli- and Hizballah-controlled enclaves inside Syria) claims that Israel has set up a large field hospital near the Tel Hazakah observation and military post on Golan which overlooks southern Syria and northern Jordan. There, incoming Syrian war wounded are vetted and examined by Israeli army medics who decide whether to patch them up and send them back, or judge them badly hurt enough for hospital care. The seriously hurt are moved to one of the the nearest Israeli hospitals in Safed or Haifa.

12 december 2012: For those not believing that Israel considers Assad's fall in its interest: Israeli Envoy Sees Radicals Risk Preferable to Assad: (Bloomberg) — Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be a boon to Israel and the Mideast, even if radical Islamists try to fill the vacuum left by his departure. “There’s the possibility that you’ll have Sunni extremist elements who will try to come to the fore,” Oren said yesterday in Washington. “Our opinion is that any situation would be better than the current situation” in which the Syrian regime has a strategic alliance with Iran and the Lebanese Shiite Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah, he said. In this context this article ( is also interesting. It claims that this is a battle against the PFLP, a radical Palestinian faction.

This article (Israeli commandos act in Syria, Jihadists on Jordan border) from a Jordanian (Dubai affiliated) site claims that Syria has arrested 49 Turkish officers who were taking part in the rebellion and that some of them had admitted being trained by Israeli. It also claims that there are 11,000 foreign fighters (mostly Libyans) in the Jordan border zone and that there is some Israeli involvement there too.

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