IDF Lies About Its Increasing Syria Intervention
Foreign media reported two separate reports of Israeli attacks against Syrian military targets reported to be SCUD missile sites and armories. Though this has not been confirmed, in the past Israel has specifically attacked weapons convoys bringing Iranian weaponry via Syria to their eventual destination in Lebanon, where they would buttress Hezbollah’s anti-Israel arsenal.
Yesterday, in a separate development, the IDF claims to have killed four saboteurs attempting to place an IED along the fence separating the Israeli-occupied Golan from Syria. Curiously, Israel didn’t identify the affiliation of the attackers. But if past history is any indication, they were likely with Hezbollah.
But the IDF denied the media reports (Hebrew and English) of one of its attacks on Syria. Here’s the official statement:
Israeli security sources reports that Israel attacked Syria tonight. “What happened in Syria today was part of fighting between al-Nusra and Hezbollah and the Syrian army…These are difficult battles between the opposing sides. We, as if well-known, don’t interfere in the fighting among them. This is our policy.”
One of Israel’s “tells” in playing the security game is that the more it insists something is so, the less it is likely to be. In the face of such insistence on the part of Israeli sources, it’s a safe bet to believe the opposite. Israel is lying about its neutrality. It has made its bed with al Qaeda affiliated rebels. It is now a major player in the Syrian war. This is a very dangerous game it’s playing.
Regarding the claim of internal battles, it apparently didn’t cross the mind of those denying the reports that Syrians can see planes attacking them and know the difference between an air and ground attack.
Hezbollah took a different view of the attack on Syria, saying it showed:
“…Israel’s direct intervention in events in Syria to the benefit of its ally, al-Nusra, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.”
The Free Syrian Army has reinforced this claim, saying there are no rebel forces (by which one assumes he means both FSA and al-Nusra) within 12 miles of the Syrian Missile Brigade 155, which was the target attacked and that neither has munitions capable of reaching the site. The FSA seems to be saying to Israel, if you want to intervene in this war you won’t do it on our account.
Now, a confidential Israeli security source confirms to me it’s his view that the Israeli denial is likely a lie meant to lessen desire for revenge on the part of either Assad’s forces, Hezbollah or Iran. This was the case when Israel assassinated an IRG general and the son of Imad Mugniyeh a few months ago. Israel’s denials then were based on an even more urgent desire to allow the Iranians to save face and lessen the need for tit-for-tat attacks. An even more convincing argument is the lie is meant to defuse any claim that Israel is becoming an increasingly aggressive party in the civil war and intervening robustly on the side of Islamist rebels. One attack (which Israel hasn’t denied) can be explained as a “one-off.” But two becomes a pattern.
The additional report that Hezbollah has built an airstrip capable of handling Iranian-made drones in the Bekaa valley can’t make Israel feel any more secure. While these drones may today surveill Syria, tomorrow they could be used against Israel.
Yossi Melman raises a tantalizing prospect that these new Israeli attacks have their origin in a completely unexpected source: with Israel’s realization that there will be an Iran nuclear deal; and that Israel cannot stop the eventual development of Iran’s nuclear program. Thus, Israel is seeking to establish deterrence by other means:
This policy is intended to draw new and clear redlines vis-a-vis Iran to slow down its rush for regional hegemony.
Until recently, the Israeli diplomatic and covert operations were directed against Tehran’s nuclear program….Despite the Israeli rhetoric expressed mainly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the government and the security establishments have come to terms with the likelihood that a nuclear deal between Iran and the international community is a fait accompli. In that sense, Israeli diplomacy failed to persuade the US and the international community that any deal that would try to curb Iran’s nuclear capabilities in return for lifting the sanctions is a bad deal.
Now Israel prepares for the day after – for the new reality that Iran is emerging as a regional power spreading its influence from the Indian Ocean to the Red Rea to the Mediterranean.
To slow down Tehran’s regional aspirations, Israel needs to join forces with other concerned parties such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates and Egypt. And, indeed, the cooperation and coordination in the Riyadh-Cairo- Jerusalem axis have improved in the last year.
Thus the attacks in Syria are something like the “roof-tap” used by the air force in Gaza to warn residents that their home is about to be destroyed. In this case, Israel is warning Iran that just because it has won a victory (in Israel’s eyes) at the bargaining table doesn’t mean Israel will accept Iran’s “creeping hegemony” either in Syria or Lebanon or other spheres. It’s as if Bibi’s saying: “you may’ve won one round at the bargaining table but there will be many more between us on the battlefield and elsewhere. On no account will we accept you as a regional threat crimping our style.”
This would have further implications regarding future U.S. policy toward Iran. If the nuclear talks result in an agreement and tensions lessen over time between the two parties, then there may be opportunity for a limited rapprochement that could lead to trade and regional cooperation (in maintaining stability in places like Iraq, Syria, etc.). Israel, it appears, would be implacably opposed to such softening and would do all in its power to stop or hinder it (presumably using the Israel Lobby in its Congressional efforts).
Though it’s hard to predict in which direction things will go, it’s clear that it’s in the U.S. long-term interests to have a constructive relationship with Iran. If Israel makes any U.S. president pursing such a policy pay a heavy price, then it’s very possible it will further alienate Democrats (the most likely party to entertain softening views on Iran) from Israel. Since it appears as of now that Democrats will hold the White House for at least another term or possibly two, Israel may be in for a long, rough ride. One begun by Netanyahu as a result of his Congressional speech fiasco.
Melman raises a prescient warning that Israeli intervenionism in Syria, which is not, as the IDF would have you believe, carefully and cautiously calibrated, may reach the point where Iran and Hezbollah say:
“Enough is enough. No more. It’s time to retaliate even if we are seen to be weakened on the bloody fields of Syria.” In such a scenario, they may respond just in an effort to restore their own deterrence against Israel, and events may escalate and get out of hand.
We have seen in the run-up to the 2006 Lebanon War and Operation Protective Edge that parties attack for their own political purposes, often assuming the enemy will remain quiescent. When instead, the enemy retaliates and doesn’t take things lying down, this allows events to get out of hand. It is precisely such small brush fires that lead to major conflagrations (remember how World War I began?).
10 thoughts on “IDF Lies About Its Increasing Syria Intervention – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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“The FSA seems to be saying to Israel, if you want to intervene in this war you won’t do it on our account. ”
Okay, but according to the Haaretz article you linked, opposition forces ARE claiming responsibility.
“Factions in the Syrian opposition said on social media that they have four units stationed in the Qalamoun region, and claimed that they were responsible for the attack on the Syrian missile base. The opposition units fired some 30 Grad rockets at the base, they said. ”
Richard. Which opposition group should we believe, and why?
@ Cory: Of course al Nusra claimed they attacked because Israel told them to say so. This precise ruse has been used by Israel in the past deliberately to confuse matters. Those attacked know whether they were attacked by planes or Grads. Newspapers outside Israel are careful to ask these questions & note these distinctions. If you choose to show yourself to be a hasbarist & believe what Israeli intelligence tells you & its Syrian allies to say & believe, that’s your prerogative.
Your use of the word ‘lie’ has nothing to do with the definition of the word.
From Merriam-Webster: Lie – “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive”
Ynet article is based on an unknown source and Haaretz states “The Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s Unit would not confirm or deny the allegation, saying they do not comment on foreign reports.” How on earth can a refusal to comment be considered a lie???
@ Tankist: The Ynet article specifically said “security sources” deny the attack. Are you denying Ynet spoke to either a defense ministry or IDF source? If you are now going to disregard every statement made in every Israeli newspaper which doesn’t have a named source you’d have to disregard everything published in Israeli newspapers since they never use named sources for security related articles.
Thus, the IDF said it did not bomb Syria when it did. That is a lie.
I think the idea of Israel as an ally (here) of Al Qaeda is delicious, seeing as how the USA has made al Qaeda “enemy number 1” for so many years, applied to it the “terrorist” label (admittedly meaningless in the USA’s government’s view but quite meaningful to the American public) thus making a problem for the USA if it might now wish to avoid calling Israel a country-which-aids-terrorists.
“I think the idea of Israel as an ally (here) of Al Qaeda is delicious,”
You might think so, but there’s no evidence Israel has an Al Qaeda ally.
Yes, Israel has supplied humanitarian aid to al Nusra operating on Israel’s border, but it’s equally true that Israel has supplied the FSA with humanitarian aide, and Israel even medically treated and released two Syrian government pilots whose jet recently strayed into the Golan Heights and was shot down.
Richard keeps arguing that Israel was witnessed giving al Nusra medical supplies and ‘boxes’, but what was in those boxes? Munitions? Maybe. Or maybe Israel was handing over the remains of al Nusra fighters who succumbed in Israeli hospitals.
Certainly, no one here knows what was in those boxes.
BTW, an often repeated meme is that Iran hasn’t attacked another country in it’s recent memory.
However, this NYT Op-ed argues that Iran does have a recent history of hegemony.
Read my blog posts on this subject before displaying your ignorance. Israel has offered far more than humanitarian aid. First, it treat al Nusra fighters wounded in battle & returns them to the battlefield to fight again (NOT humanitarian aid). Second, it supplied weapons & other equipment to al Nusra as documented by UN observers. Third, it conducts secret strategy/liaison meetings with al Nusra commanders. Fourth, Israeli commandos operate within Syrian territory in coordination with al Nusra. Fifth, the IDF has laid down supporting fire on behalf of al Nusra. Sixth, the IAF regularly blasts Syrian targets inside Syria. THis is blatant aggressive intervention.
Not to mention that al Nusra is al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. al Nusra IS al Qaeda as far as Syria is concerned.
In the blog comment threads, I value accuracy and truth. I devalue claims & opinions such as what you offer.
I have seen NO evidence Israel treated any Syrian pilots. In fact the only Syria pilot who strayed into Golan Heights was shot down by Israel & crashed & died.
If you can prove there was anything other than military supplies in those crates I’ll give you a special media for extraordinary hasbara valor.
The article you site is a load of hogwash. For Iran to support Shiite communities under threat in Bahrain or Iraq does not indicate “hegemonic amibitions.” If Jews were under threat Israel would do whatever was necessary to rescue them. If Israel had the power to do so it would even arm those Jews if a war was involved. Does that mean Israel has hegemonic ambition in whatever region those Jews lived?
Iran has not attacked another neighboring country for over a generation and that attack was under the Shah. You’d have to go back another few hundred years to find the last time Iran attacked a neighbor.
“First, it treats al Nusra fighters wounded in battle & returns them to the battlefield to fight again (NOT humanitarian aid)”
Israel also treats FSA and wounded Syrian women and children. Humanitarian aid. Blackwash.
” Second, it supplied weapons & other equipment to al Nusra as documented by UN observers.”
Zero proof. Boxes could contain anything. Blackwash.
“Third, it conducts secret strategy/liaison meetings with al Nusra commanders. ”
Zero proof the discussions involve secret strategy with Nusra commanders. Blackwash.
“Fourth, Israeli commandos operate within Syrian territory in coordination with al Nusra.”
The troops returning to Israel from Syria were regular IDF troops, not commandos. Yes, the entry into Syria by these troops was probably co-ordinated with the Syrian opposition. FSA and al Nusra.
“Fifth, the IDF has laid down supporting fire on behalf of al Nusra.”
The AL Monitor article you’ve cited was written anonymously and interviewed anonymous sources. It did interview a Syrian Army General. AL Monitor’s owner and founder is a supporter (shill?) of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah.
“Sixth, the IAF regularly blasts Syrian targets inside Syria. This is blatant aggressive intervention.”
Yes. Blasting long range missiles being handed over to Hezbollah, who already has a 100,000 stock of rockets and missiles.
“I have seen NO evidence Israel treated any Syrian pilots. In fact the only Syria pilot who strayed into Golan Heights was shot down by Israel & crashed & died. ”
Here’s the evidence.
The Golani restaurant manager says that he, and neighbors, witnessed the capture of the Syrian pilots and that they were ‘treated and sent home’.
See, Vice TV video, Part 3@5:00.
“If you can prove there was anything other than military supplies in those crates I’ll give you a special media for extraordinary hasbara valor.”
And if you can prove the boxes contained military supplies I will kiss your ass in Macy’s window.
“The article you site (sic) is a load of hogwash”
Okay. Than why did Azerbaijan arrests 22 suspects in alleged Iran spy plot?
And why did and Iranian lawmaker say that Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, should be annexed to Iran? Maybe because Azerbaijan was formerly part of Iran before the 19th cent.
Humanitarian aid my arse. THere are no FSA fighters in the Golan. Plus, of the 1,100 Syrians Israel treated 800 were male adults. We can assume that most of these are fighters and because al Nusra is the primary rebel group in the area, most of these 800 were al Nusra fighters. Relatively few women & children.
As for those strategy sessions: I assure you IDF commanders don’t liaise with al Nusra commanders to ask after their respective loved ones or share fishing stories. Not to mention that when Sedki al Maket filmed one of these meetings he ended in prison. If this was a social get-together, IDF would have nothing to hide & wouldn’t care.
Quoting garbage from Lee Smith makes you look ridiculous. Jamal Daniel, the owner of Al Monitor is a Syrian-born Christian and Texas oil man. He is pals with George Bush. Much of his staff hails from the Bush administration.
If you think he supported Hezbollah (any evidence by the way?), do you think the U.S. government would allow him to continue amassing a fortune in the Texas oil fields? If he supports Hezbollah, can you tell me why his Israel section features a jackass, er author, boasting of Israeli settlers building the Third Temple?
Wait, an Israeli restaurant manager on a horseback ride with a reporter tells him that the Syrian pilots were downed on Israeli-held Golan and when the reporter asks “where precisely,” the Israeli says “right here.” There’s absolutely no evidence anywhere on the video of any crash site. The sloppy reporter doesn’t call him on this but only replies, “oh really,” clearly indicating he doesn’t believe him.
This is “evidence” like your saying you can fly is evidence that you can. Not to mention that pilots whose planes are hit by anti-aircraft missiles don’t parachute to safety. They die. I’ve seen no evidence that the pilot lived. This is utter nonsense.
Why did Iran arrest citizens allegedly spying for the Mossad and Azerbaijan? Because they thought both were excellent, trustworthy friends & neighbors? Not to mention that if we’re going to use Azeri justice as the beacon of jurisprudence & rectitude I think the world’s turned upside down.
MK Yinon just said Alon Liel should be executed for urging EU nations to support a 2 state solution. Does this mean Liel will be executed? Or that Israeli national policy suggests those who believe in 2 states should be executed?
There are morons & half-wits in every national legislature. Israel’s included.
So if Israel can violate other nations’ sovereignty at will to destroy weapons, I want to hear you explicitly affirm that Hamas or Hezbollah or any nation threatened by Israeli weapons may bomb Israel to prevent their use against them. I want to hear you say this clearly. If you don’t, you’re a friggin’ hypocrite.
You are done in this thread.
USA has made al Qaeda “enemy number 1” for so many years, applied to it the “terrorist” label (admittedly meaningless in the USA’s government’s view but quite meaningful to the American public) thus making a problem for the USA if it might now wish to avoid calling Israel a country-which-aids-terrorists