The Syrian and Hizballah military delegations visiting Tehran this week achieved their purpose: debkafile’s intelligence and military sources report that in three days of talks up until Friday April 30, Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Fahad Jassim al-Freij procured from his Iranian counterpart Hussein Dehghan, approval for a stepped up terror campaign against Israeli forces and civilians on the Golan, to be executed by terrorist surrogates. Iran pledged its support for this campaign and promised to make the Revolutionary Guards and Afghani Shiite forces present in Syria available, in the event of an Israeli counter-attack.
A stamping ground, designated “the open area,” was to be provided for all terrorist militias willing to attack Israel. It would stretch from Damascus to the Golan – a distance of 60 km by road – and take in the Syrian Hermon and Lebanese Chebaa Farms. Syrian and Hizballah military intelligence services will take responsibility for coordinating their operations and providing them with arms and intelligence.
According to the plan approved in Tehran, Syria and Hizballah will establish new militias for their campaign as well as deploying existing terrorist groups.
One such framework, made up of Syrian Druzes, was set up in recent weeks. Its first attack last Sunday April 26 – an attempt to plant a bomb near an Israeli Golan border position – was a flop. All four bombers were killed in an Israeli air strike and the device did not detonate.
The commander of the new Druze militia is Samir Kuntar, a name familiar to Israelis as the murderer of the Haran family of Nahariya and two police officers, who got out of prison in 2008 after serving 36 years of a life sentence. Kuntar is a rare Lebanese Druze who joined Hizballah in his youth.
Our sources note that President Bashar Assad many times suggested setting up a special Syrian-Palestinian “resistance movement” for taking back the Golan, which Israel captured during Syria’s 1967 invasion and later annexed.
However, the terrorist attacks on Israel were left until now mostly to Palestinian squads created ad hoc for single operations. They were often drawn from Ahmed Jibril’s PFLP-General Command group or recruited in the Yarmuk refugee camp in Damascus.
But now, Assad and his Hizballah ally are set on a serious escalation by different tactics, debkafile’s sources report. For a major terror offensive, they are building new frameworks with local recruits mustered in South Lebanon and the Syrian Golan. Some of those militiamen have been seen moving about in the Druze villages scattered over Jabal Druze and the Hermon up to the Chebaa farms.