debkafile Exclusive: Damascus ordered Sunday’s Katyusha attack on N. Israeli Kiryat Shemona, causing no casualties. But there is more to come
The three 107mm rockets fired against Kiryat Shemona from Wadi Taiba Sunday, June 17, by a Palestinian radical group called Ansar Allah based in the Ain Hilwa refugee camp near Sidon was ordered by Syrian military intelligence as the first in a series, debkafile‘s military sources report. Hizballah intelligence officers supplied the rockets and pinpointed the launching site to make sure they struck the Israeli town. Residents rushed for bomb shelters for the first time since the Lebanon War ended eleven months ago. A factory and parked vehicles were damaged.
The hit squad drove up in a rental Toyota, rigged the rockets and drove off.
debkafile‘s intelligence sources report that Syria and Hizballah are preparing an escalating series of rocket barrages against norhern Israel civilian and military locations in the coming weeks. It is a stage in an overall plan orchestrated by Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah to stage attacks in Lebanon, Israel and Palestinian territory. Its objectives are to destabilize the pro-Western Siniora government in Beirut and whittle down Israel’s deterrent strength.
Rocketing Kiryat Shemona was Stage 3 of the plan. Two rockets damaged a factory and a parked vehicle in separate parts of Kiryat Shemona. A third landed near a UNIFIL position inside Lebanon.
Stage one is the five-week old radical Islamic, pro-Damascus uprising in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, which the Lebanese army has not yet subdued. Stage two was Hamas’ just-completed capture of the Gaza Strip from Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.
debkafile‘s military sources disclose that in the name of “restraint,” Israel’s government and military leaders refrain from connecting the dots of the campaign ahead and its links to Tehran and Damascus in time to foil it, in the same way as they glossed over Hizballah’s build-up for the 2006 Lebanon war.
According to our intelligence sources, a former Fatah officer called Jamal Suleiman is Ansar Allah’s leader. He moved to Damascus in the 1980s and returned to the Ain Hilwa in Lebanon in April loaded with cash. He then began recruiting for his Ansar al Allah, working to exactly the same Damascus-designed format as the Fatah al-Islam was embedded in the northern camp of Nahr al-Bared.
If Israeli leaders refuse to call a spade a spade, Fatah leaders are more outspoken. Sunday, Azam al Ahmad declared in an interview in Ramallah that the perpetrators of the crime [against the Palestinian Authority in Gaza] are the same people who sent assassins to murder the Lebanese politician Rafiq Hariri, “Both come from the same hand [Syria],” he said.