Israeli Regime Supplied Syrian Militants with Weapons: Army Chief
Story Code : 772175
Gadi Eisenkot spilled the beans on a poorly guarded secret of the Israeli military and told the Sunday Times that Tel Aviv had been directly involved in the Syrian conflict on the side of the Syrian militants.
The general, who is retiring from military service, said that Israeli regime supplied militants at the border with light weapons for the purposes of “self-defense.”
While the direct links between Syrian militants and Israeli commanders have been officially revealed for the first time, rumors of close military ties between the armed militants and the Israeli government have been circulating for years.
Foreign Policy magazine reported in September that Tel Aviv supplied weapons and gave money to at least 12 militant groups holed up in southern Syria. The arrangement reportedly included Israeli officials also giving $75-per-person monthly allowances to militants, in addition to the funds their leaders received to procure weapons on the black market
In return, militants were expected to deter Hezbollah and Iran allies from Syria's Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The scheme was reportedly in effect throughout Operation Good Neighbor, which officially kicked off in June 2016 and was wrapped up only last November. Within this undertaking, the occupying regime was openly assisting militants but claimed that assistance was strictly humanitarian. Israeli regime treated wounded Syrian militants and their families in its hospitals, provided some 1,524 tons of food, 250 tons of clothes, 947,520 liters of fuel, as well as a huge amount of medical supplies.
However, until recently Israel kept vigorously denying any involvement beyond that. The Jerusalem Post's report in September on the army's confirming that it had provided light weapons to Syrian militants was promptly pulled from its website. The newspaper told RT at the time that it was forced to remove the article by the army's censor, apparently, “for security reasons".
In November, Maj. Gen. Gershon Hacohen, a former senior Israeli commander, revealed that former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon had personally met with a group of Syrian militants, without specifying the time period. Ya'alon was regime's chief of defense from 2013 to May 2016.
The Israeli military seems to have finally begun to reveal the scope of its involvement in the Syrian conflict, previously shrouded in secrecy. In an interview with the New York Times, Eisenkot acknowledged that Tel Aviv has been waging a large-scale bombing campaign allegedly aimed at degrading Iran's military influence in the region. In 2018 alone, the regime dropped 2,000 bombs on alleged Iran-linked targets in Syria. Sorties into the neighboring country's territory became "near-daily events” after PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s regime greenlighted the expansion of the operation in January 2017, according to the retiring general.