New Report Confirms Israel Has Been Secretly Funding Syrian Rebels For Years

The revelation may also explain why ISIS has rarely if ever launched attacks against Israeli citizens or on Israel territory.
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    In this Thursday, April 6, 2017 photo made in Israeli controlled Golan Heights, Israeli military medics assist wounded Syrians. Seven wounded Syrians crossed into Israeli controlled Heights Thursday night have received immediate treatment and were hospitalized later on. They are the latest group of Syrian fighters receiving free medical care through an Israeli military program operating since 2013. (AP/Dusan Vranic)

    In this April 6, 2017 photo in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israeli military medics assist wounded Syrians. They are the latest group of Syrian fighters receiving free medical care through an Israeli military program operating since 2013. (AP/Dusan Vranic)

    Earlier, when discussing why the Syrian “rebels” fighting Assad are in “turmoil”, we said that as a result of the ongoing Qatar crisis the various Saudi and Qatari supply chains supporting the rebels, both in terms of weapons and funding, had dried up due to the diplomatic fallout involving Qatar and Saudi Arabia. “Together with Turkey and the United States,

    “Together with Turkey and the United States, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been major sponsors of the insurgency, arming an array of groups that have been fighting to topple Syria’s Iran-backed president.”

    We concluded that “the rebellion against Assad now seems moot, which is why the most likely outcome is a continued phase-out of support for forces fighting the Syria government until eventually, the situation reverts back to its pre-2011 “status quo.”



    That, however, may have been premature as it was missing a key piece of data, one which was just revealed by the WSJ and which many had suspected. According to the Journal, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been aligned from the onset of the Syrian conflict, “with Israel supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel, and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement in the enemy country’s civil war aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces.”

    The Israeli army is in regular communication with rebel groups and its assistance includes undisclosed payments to commanders that help pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons, according to interviews with about half a dozen Syrian fighters. Israel has established a military unit that oversees the support in Syria—a country that it has been in a state of war with for decades—and set aside a specific budget for the aid, said one person familiar with the Israeli operation.

    This news comes as a major surprise because while it was well known that Israel has provided medical help for Syrian civilians and fighters inside its own borders in the past, with the IDF retaliating to occasional stray rockets in the restive border region with reprisals, it was previously thought that the Israeli authorities largely stay out of the complicated six-year-old conflict next door.

    That now appears to have been dead wrong. “Israel stood by our side in a heroic way,” said Moatasem al-Golani, spokesman for the rebel group Fursan al-Joulan, or Knights of the Golan. “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance.”

    Al-Joulan is the main rebel group coordinating with Israel, according to fighters. It told the WSJ that Israel’s support began as early as 2013 under former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, with the goal of creating a ‘buffer zone’ free of radical militants such as Isis and Iranian-allied forces along Israel’s border. A special Israeli army unit was created to oversee the costly aid operation, the WSJ reported, which gives Fursan al-Joulan – Knights of the Golan – an estimated $5,000 (£3,900) a month. The group of around 400 fighters receives no direct support from Western rebel backers and is not affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, the official rebel umbrella organisation.

    The Journal also reports that Israel may be funding up to four other rebel groups which have Western backing. The groups use the cash to pay fighters and buy ammunition.

    In total, there are roughly 800 rebel fighters across more than a dozen villages in this area, where thousands of civilians live, fighters said. Many of the rebels and civilians in this area rely on some level of support from Israel, they added.

    “Most people want to cooperate with Israel,” said a fighter with rebel group Liwaa Ousoud al-Rahman, also fighting on the Golan.

    The alliance reportedly began after wounded Fursan al-Joulan fighters made their way to the border and begged Israeli soldiers for medical assistance.

    While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office did not respond to the Journal’s requests for comment, the Israel Defence Forces said in a statement that it is “committed to securing the borders of Israel and preventing the establishment of terror cells and hostile forces… in addition to providing humanitarian aid to the Syrians living in the area.”

    Israel and Syria have technically been in a state of warfare for decades. Syria controls around one-third of the Golan Heights border, and Israel occupies the rest.

    Israel has been providing Syrian rebels with cash and supplies in a secret engagement to carve out a friendly buffer zone.

    Israel has been providing Syrian rebels with cash and supplies in a secret engagement to carve out a friendly buffer zone.

    In recent years, Israeli air strikes in Syrian territory have aimed to prevent weapons smuggling to Iranian-allied Hezbollah, which fights alongside the Assad government. Hezbollah, like Iran, is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.

     

    Ironically, while Assad has in the past claimed – correctly it now turns out – that Israel supports rebel groups which his government refers to as terrorists, elements of the opposition have accused Israel of helping to keep the regime in power. The biggest irony, of course, is that virtually for the entire duration of the Syrian conflict, Israel and Saudi Arabia were aligned on the same side against the Assad regime; it also means that one can now also add Israel to the ungodly proxy war in Syria alongside Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US, Europe and most Arab states across from Iran, Turkey, Russia and, increasingly, China.

    Today’s revelation may also explain why ISIS has rarely if ever launched attacks against Israeli citizens or on Israel territory.

    Courtesy of the WSJ, here is a chronology of Israeli involvement in the Syrian proxy war:

    • 2011: Syrian uprising against Iran-backed President Bashar al-Assad begins.
    • 2012: Syrian rebel group the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, which has a presence in the divided Golan Heights near Israel’s border, forms and later declares allegiance to Islamic State. It then joins with other groups to form the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, an offshoot of Islamic State.
    • 2013: Israel acknowledges it is treating Syrians wounded in the war in hospitals near the border. Secretly, the military begins to build a relationship with rebel commanders on the Syrian side of the Golan and starts sending aid.
    • January 2015: An alleged Israeli airstrike kills Hezbollah militants and a general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps near Quneitra province in the Golan Heights. Israel later says the militants were planning to attack Israelis.
    • June 2015: Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon says Israel is helping Syrian rebels with medical treatment in return for assurances they won’t attack the Druse—a religious minority group that straddles the Israeli and Syrian sides of the Golan.
    • September 2015: Russia enters the war on the side of the Assad regime, tipping the balance of power in favor of the Iran-backed President.
    • December 2015: Lebanese Hezbollah militant Samir Kuntar dies in an alleged Israeli airstrike in Damascus suburb. Israeli officials later said he was planning attacks against Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan.
    • 2016: Israel secretly sets up an army unit and budget to manage the relationship with rebels and civilians on the Golan Heights, say people familiar with the policy.
    • November 2016: An Israeli airstrike kills four Khalid ibn al-Walid militants in Syrian Golan after Israeli soldiers come under fire.
    • March 2017: Israeli warplanes carry out airstrikes inside Syria, drawing fire from antiaircraft missiles in the most intense military exchange between the two countries since the start of the Syrian conflict.
    • June 2017: Syrian rebels say they have been receiving cash from Israel for the past four years that they use to help pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons.

    © ZeroHedge.com

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    • a.c.hall

      The Pentagon Shot down a Syrian Army Su-22 and an Armed Drone with US Carrier Launched F18 Super Hornets.
      Trump is trying to establish a US Base near Tanf Inside Syria to provoke a Shooting War with Putin. Trump is Brain-Dead Puppet of the Maniacs Really Running America.

      • James Wherry

        And Russia flew one of its fighters within 5 feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane.

        Apparently it’s not all one-sided.

        But hey, can those of you on the Left get your accusations straight??? Either President Trump is the puppet of the Russians or he’s being used as a puppet against the Russians? Which is it? And if he’s being used against the Ruskies, can we drop these ridiculous “investigations” driven by the sore losers of the last election?

    • James Wherry

      There’s no evidence, here: Israel has been supporting the rebels that oppose both Assad and ISIS.

      By contrast, Syria created and funded ISIS to kill U.S. Soldiers in Iraq until 2011 and now to murder Syrian Sun’ni’s to ethnically cleanse them from the land by killing other rebel groups.

      1. IRAN supported ISIL’s fore-runner, AQI leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to murder U.S. Americans

      http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-sponsored-isil-founder-sheltered-him-from-u-s/

      “Iran long provided shelter and protection to the founder and former commander of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the predecessor to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), which rose to power due in large part to Tehran’s support, according to multiple intelligence reports and outside experts.”

      See also: “http://www2.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/AlQaeda

      “What ISIS Owes Iran.”
      http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=118&x_article=3080

      2. SYRIA: Assad buys oil from ISIS and attacks ISIS’ enemies, instead of attacking ISIS. Assad helped violent extremist enter Iraq through Syria to murder our Soldiers – that TAPATIO also hates.

      “Syria: Isis advance on Aleppo aided by Assad regime air strikes, US says”
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/02/syria-isis-advance-on-aleppo-aided-by-assad-regime-air-strikes-us-says

      SYRIA helped create ISIL.

      http://www.newsweek.com/how-syrias-assad-helped-forge-isis-255631

      Syria is DIRECTLY supporting ISIL.

      http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/state-syrias-assad-directly-supporting-isis/article/2565466h

      http://www.infowars.com/israel-supports-jihadists-isis-in-syria/

      https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4506390/syria-support-isis

    • Agent Cooper

      no surprise here..US and their mid eastern office are traditionally in favour of monolithic dictatorial regimes, especially in mideast, All that issues that secularism or, god forbid, democracy brings, are cut loose, so it’s really comfy, easy to deal with and they obey the hegemon. Human rights? oh pls, go fk urself..

      • James Wherry

        AC, we have to make a decision, don’t we? Either we’re going to be “interventionists” and waste our time getting involved in other people’s cultures, religions, ideologies and political systems, or we are going to stay out and mind our own business.

        For my part, I am a proud American Patriot and member of the Revolution – the American Revolution, the only one worth fighting for. I do support Democracy (Freedom) and Human Rights (Civil Liberties).

        Unfortunately, I have grudgingly come to the conclusion through bitter experience, that more harm is done by intervening and interfering than by simply letting other people “evolve.” You might consider the following book:

        “Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the WorldJun 6, 2017”
        by Shadi Hamid
        https://www.amazon.com/Islamic-Exceptionalism-Struggle-Islam-Reshaping/dp/1250135133/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498223722&sr=8-1&keywords=muslim+exceptionalism

        • Agent Cooper

          policy us,uk and such have been always interventionist in negative ways. The biggest thorn in the eyes of these two were ANY signs of democracy at the “moslim” word. That simple is something, they’ll dump on by default. Today language is pretty twisted, especially one used by agenda of “yours”, so I’d skip that “patriotic” –reminds me W’s “Patriot Act” and makes me vomit. The rest of your comment seems ok to me, except I’m not gonna into that book..Look. Lets leave grande ideés for today, see u sometimes, have no need to watch your “Emueuigan” chest bumping around your great ideals…it’s funny standard how mouthful u Emueuigans are. I’ll not keep that good tradition of yours and do not reccomed u any book. Have a nice tea, uncle hairy chest..and see u sometimes, now I saw, u’re able to have some bright moments…just train it meanwhile a bit.