NATO Member Turkey Sets up First Military HQ in Gaza

An unnamed senior Turkish diplomat Tuesday, April 9 advertised a visit by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to the Gaza Strip as the silver bullet that would complement the burgeoning Turkish-Israeli rapprochement, promote the Middle East peace process and facilitate détente between rival Palestinian groups.
Ankara, he said, was eager to bury the hatchet with Jerusalem as quickly as possible
He also remarked that Israel had begun to open the Gaza crossings to the entry of Turkish officials, but did not say who they were.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly can disclose exclusively from its intelligence and military sources that those officials were in fact senior Turkish army officers and agents of the Turkish spy service working with the Syrian rebel forces in northern Syria. By letting them in, Israel has essentially enabled the creation of a Turkish military-intelligence office, the first of its kind, in the Gaza Strip, and the first by a NATO member government for working in concert with the Palestinian extremist Hamas.
Some of the Turkish officers now in the Gaza Strip have commanded two rebel units – the North Liberators Brigade in the Idlib area and the Tawhid Brigade, mostly in the Aleppo – from September 2012.
And they are fast movers.

Hamas imparts Iranian combat tactics to Syrian rebels

For two weeks now, Hamas instructors have been training Free Syrian Army units in the rebel-held neighborhoods of Yalda, Jaramana and Babbila near the Syrian capital of Damascus.
This project was the first fruit of the new Turkish outfit’s mission in Gaza, which is to recruit operatives of the Hamas military arm, the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, and prepare them for service as instructors and fighters with the two Syrian rebel brigades under their command.
Before sending them over, the Turkish officers relay the names of the Hamas recruits to two addresses: Israeli military intelligence HQ and the combined US-Turkish-Jordanian military center that was set up last summer to coordinate the three armies’ operations in an outbreak of chemical warfare.
Only after both sign their approval, are the Hamas operatives sent to Turkey on their way to Syria.
One of the trainers’ tasks is to impart to Syrian rebels the combat tactics taught Hamas by Revolutionary Guards officers in training camps in Iran, and by Hizballah instructors assigned to the Gaza Strip.
The rebels are also learning from their Palestinian instructors how to use the weapons coming in from Libya via Turkey.
(For Hamas’s role in the Libyan arms smuggling networks through Sinai, see a separate article in this issue.)

Israeli medical teams cross into Syria to treat injured rebels

DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources note that never before have the Syrian rebels’ Western and Arab backers obtained access to the combat techniques practiced by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah and currently conveyed to the pro-Assad Syrian army units and loyalist popular militias which are under formation by the Iranian Al Qods Brigades.
Now, for the first time, those tactics are obtainable by means of a corridor opened up from the Gaza Strip through Turkey to Syria.
And even more surprisingly, Israel has assumed an unexpected, albeit non-combat, role in the Syrian war.
Our military sources reveal that Israeli medics have passed to rebel fighters on the Syrian side of the Golan atropine shots as antidotes for chemical weapons which Bashar Assad has reportedly already used against opposition forces and, according to credible intelligence, is resolved to use in earnest to prevent his downfall.
Without waiting for pleas for help at the border, Israeli medical teams are crossing secretly into Syria to administer medical aid to wounded rebels and transport some of the more severe cases to Israeli hospitals.
In a very limited sense, therefore, Israel finds itself on the same side in the Syrian conflict as its enemy, Hamas which, according to he Times of London, has lent its tunnel-digging skills to the rebel effort for an attack on Damascus. “Hamas has been helping the rebels dig a tunnel beneath Damascus in preparation for an attack on the city,” the paper reported, “a skill that Hamas has honed by constructing tunnels to smuggle supplies from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.”
A Hamas official in Gaza denied this story as false. “There are no members of Izzadin Kassam or any militant members of Hamas in Syria… We don’t interfere in the internal problems of Syria," he said.
But a Palestinian source from Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp affirmed that Hamas’s aid to the rebels was common knowledge.
Clearly, no one was waiting for Erdogan to visit the Gaza Strip for events to race forward in many directions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email