On Wednesday, March 13, the IDF exposed a pro-Iranian Hizballah deployment on the Syrian Golan for conducting terrorist operations against Israel. Attributing the information to IDF Northern Command intelligence, the military spokesman revealed that the deployment dubbed by Hizballah the “Golan file” deferred to its leader Hassan Nasrallah and was under the command of Ali Musa Daquq. Syrian President Bashar Assad was said to have been kept in the dark.
What the military spokesman failed to reveal was that the Lebanese Daquq is a veteran Hizballah operational commander who, from 1983, served the organization on home ground until in 2006, when he was posted to Tehran on a special assignment: assistance in a project run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Al Qods Brigades for training, organizing and managing pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite militias to fight the US in Iraq. Since then, Daquq has stayed in touch with the al Qods chief, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
One of the militia’s operations ordered by Soleimani, in which the Lebanese operative took part, was an attack on a district coordination center in Karbala on Jan. 20, 2007 in which five American soldiers were kidnapped and put to death.
By revealing Hizballah’s advance up to Israel’s Golan border, DEBKA Weekly’s counterterrorism sources report that the IDF set the scene for joint operations with the US military against Hizballah’s allies, those same pro-Iranian Iraq militias, which are massing in Syria and northern Iraq under the same enemies of America as before. Publication by the IDF followed a secret agreement under which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised the Trump administration to publish the moves orchestrated by Hizballah and its bosses, in the hope of drawing European governments into the campaign against Iran’s Lebanese Shiite terrorist proxy.
Israel’s first attempt to achieve this three months ago fell flat. When Israel embarked on its Northern Shield operation for exposing and blocking Hizballah’s cross-border tunnels from Lebanon, the IDF exposed the tunnels but failed to achieve the operation’s twin strategic goals: one, to convince the Europeans to blacklist Hizballah; the other, to discredit Hizballah at home and sever its ties with the Lebanese president and government.
It took the Trump administration up to Feb. 25, to persuade the British Prime Minister Theresa May to designate Hizballah “in its entirety” a terrorist organization. However, Germany, France and Italy held out against stigmatizing Hizballah’s “political arm” as well. It was hoped by some in Washington that exposing Hizballah as poised right up to its Golan border in the north, for terrorist operations in Israel, would bring the three reluctant European government aboard the US-backed Israeli campaign against Hizballah and its fellow Iranian surrogates.
DEBKA Weekly’s sources note that the emphasis laid on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ignorance of the Hizballah move was intended to weigh strongly with those European governments. For Assad, the role of Hizballah forces in Syria today is whittled down to defending the Syrian-Lebanese border against anti-regime elements. Their part in suppressing the eight-year long insurgency against him is over. The Syrian ruler has no wish to be involved in the schemes of Iran and its surrogate to open an active anti-Israel front on the Golan. Therefore, high officials in the Trump administration reckon there may be a chance of drawing Berlin and Rome into overturning Iranian and Hizballah designs for the sake of Syrian stability. Its president has no interest in trouble erupting just 40km from his capital, Damascus.
Our sources reveal that the Americans have given up on French President Emmanuel Macron. According to a high-placed US source, all that concerns him is the possibility of Iranian ballistic missiles reaching Europe.