Israel provides steady flow of cash, aid to Syrian rebels — report

Discussion in 'Israel & Middle East News' started by Chris, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

    Israel provides steady flow of cash, aid to Syrian rebels — report
    Special military unit oversees assistance to anti-Assad forces in ‘special engagement’ meant to ensure friendly buffer zone, according to Wall Street Journal
    By Times of Israel staff June 19, 2017, 2:00 am
    An IDF Merkava tank drives near the border with Syria on the Golan Heights, on November 28, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ)

    Israel has been providing Syrian rebels near its border in the Golan Heights with a steady flow of funds, medical supplies and humanitarian assistance, with one group receiving roughly $5,000 per month, according to rebel fighters. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing interviews with half a dozen rebel leaders and three persons familiar Israel’s undeclared policy, that the Jewish state is helping these forces, who are opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his Iranian, Lebanese and Russian allies in an effort to help set up a buffer zone on its border with forces friendly to Israel.

    According to the report, Israel set up a special military unit in 2016 to oversee and coordinate the transfer of the aid, which helps groups pay salaries and buy weapons and ammunition. This “secret engagement,” as the report calls it, is aimed at strengthening Syrian rebel groups at the expense of forces hostile to Israel, namely Iranian proxy and Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, as well as various Iranian units fighting on Assad’s behalf in Syria.

    Israel has dubbed this operation in the Golan Heights the “Good Neighborhood” policy, according to prominent Israeli journalist and analyst Ehud Ya’ari, who noted that it began under former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon. “It’s a matter of interests,” one unnamed person cited in the report said. “Israel stood by our side in a heroic way,” a spokesman for the rebel group Fursan al-Joulan, or Knights of the Golan, Moatasem al-Golani, told the Journal. “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance.”

    Abu Suhayb, a nom de guerre of the commander who leads the group, told the newspaper he receives approximately $5,000 a month from Israel. According to the report, the group made contact with Israel in 2013 after a raid on regime forces and turned to Israel for help with its wounded. The group said it was a turning point as Israel then began sending funds and aid, assistance soon extended to other groups. A fighter with another rebel in the Golan, Liwaa Ousoud al-Rahman, said “most people want to cooperate with Israel.

    Hol likes this.
  2. Hol

    Hol Worships Him

    The Israelis have some good neighbors at least!
  3. daygo

    daygo Well-Known Member

    Golan heights are important to Israel.

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