With Media Embed, IDF Boasts of Incursion into Syria
Israel's troops sneak into Syria to gather intel. by presstv
It’s commonly and falsely reported in the world media that Israel is maintaining a neutral stance in the Syrian conflict. After all, when your enemy is self-destructing, the best thing to do is sit back, watch, and do nothing. But Israel isn’t satisfied with that. It is intervening regularly and intensively against the government of Bashar al-Assad and his Hezbollah and Iranian allies. It has assassinated Syrian, Hezbollah, and Iranian IRG commanders on Syrian territory. It has repeatedly bombed weapons convoys ferrying Russian and Iranian missiles through Syria to Lebanon for use by Hezbollah. It has built a camp on its disputed border with Syria to house the family of Syrian rebels. It has allied itself with the Al Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Islamist terror group, which is fighting Hezbollah in the Syrian Golan.
Until now, Israel has maintained the fiction of neutrality and the world media has dutifully followed suit, validating this falsehood. But for the first time, the IDF has permitted a TV reporter to embed with a commando unit (if the video doesn’t play, follow this link to the original article which contains the video) which crossed into the Syrian Golan. Ironically, the headline of his story was that Israeli forces are entering Syria “in secret” to gather intelligence. Apparently, he was unaware of the irony of claiming in a newspaper that the story you’re reporting is “secret.” Though the purpose of the incursion wasn’t clear, usually they plant listening and video surveillance devices which give it a clear picture of what’s going on in the field. The video at the beginning of the post is an interview I conducted with PressTV about yesterday’s IDF spy mission into Syria.
There have been reports which I’ve documented here that such units have been violating Syrian sovereignty for years. Not to mention the assassinations of senior Hezbollah, IRG (Iranian), and Syrian commanders on Syrian soil. And the numerous air attacks on weapons convoys traversing Syria on their way to Lebanon. But this is the first time the IDF was brazen enough to boast about it.
There are several reasons that may’ve changed the geopolitical considerations: yesterday, Hezbollah sent Lebanese civilians to protest along the border. They crossed the armistice line to protest Israel’s installation of surveillance cameras at the site. But they did not penetrate to the Israeli fence. The IDF used tear gas and other weapons to suppress the protesters and send them back into Lebanon. Thus, the army’s public statement that it violates Syrian territory could be meant as a counter-poke in the eye to Hezbollah, which is one of Pres. Assad’s most powerful backers and which regularly probes the Syrian border for Israeli security weaknesses.
Israel is known to violate Lebanese sovereignty regularly as well. It sends the same sort of commando units into Hezbollah enclaves in the south to plant listening devices. They are intended to offer Israel intelligence information on the composition and placement of Hezbollah fighting units. It’s also possible they could pick up communications among commanders Israel might seek to assassinate.
Another reason to publicize this secret mission is to promote this new army unit, the Intelligence Targeting Unit, which was tasked with taking the fight to the enemy. It employs spying and surveillance techniques in the fight against what Israel labels “terror” groups (i.e. Hezbollah). The unit’s existence was only made known after two of its members died in a helicopter crash on their way to spy on Syrian territory. Thus, highlighting a successful operation might be a way to mitigate this negative press. Also, the IDF is always conscious of promoting its war-fighting capabilities in order to justify ever larger slices of the national budget. This could be another such PR venture.
A further reason the IDF would seek to make its violations of the border more public: ISIS units are waging a fierce battle in areas near the Golan armistice line. Israel clearly has an intense interest in knowing the balance of forces in the region and which militant groups control which territory. This also coincides with Israel’s alliance with al-Nusra, to which it provides intelligence and logistical support in its own fight for dominance in the region.
Incidentally, you will find none of this analysis in the reporter’s own story about his experience in Syria. He apparently was so excited by the privilege he was offered he never bothered to wonder why he was given it.
At any rate, it’s clear that Israel wants a weak and divided Syria. It wants as much blood and as many dead as possible. In fact, at the close of the video, an IDF commando says to the reporter explicitly that the “silver lining” in the Syrian bloodbath is that it means “quiet” for Israel.
Israel wants Assad either toppled outright, or ruling a rump country consisting of an Alawite enclave. It wants the Syrian Golan controlled either by friendly Druze forces or militants it can easily co-opt in order to maintain the peace on Israel’s northern border. What it does not want is a united Syria because that would exert pressure on it to negotiate an end to the conflict and a return of Israeli-occupied Golan. Such an eventuality is anathema to a far-right government pledged not to cede a single millimeter of “Israeli” land.
13 thoughts on “With Media Embed, IDF Boasts of Incursion into Syria – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Hi Richard, the second video is not playing, nor is the link working. Is there any other chance to watch it?
@Charlotte: Follow the Mako link in the post. That article contains the video & you may view it there. Since this is an Israeli media website, videos don’t always work as they should. If it doesn’t work properly in your browser, try a different browser. The only browser which worked for me was Microsoft Edge. SOrry for the inconvenience.
Israel has good reason to intervene in Syrian affairs.
Why should Israel allow an Iranian proxy army to gain a tactical superiority?
Why, Richard? Why?
@ Seamus Ignoramus:
Israel violates Syrian sovereignty and international law by invading its territory. So there is no good or even bad reason to do so. What a sovereign nation does inside its own territory is its own business. By your logic then, any nation which feels endangered by Israel’s nuclear program (and MANY do) may bomb or rocket Dimona in order to destroy it.
And since Israeel is a U.S. proxy, then destroying U.S. weapons shipped to Israel would be fine as well. If you agree with this logic & say so unequivocally then I might agree Israel can invade other nations at will. What say you?
I thing it is the other way around. The US is Israels proxy. The US gets all the blame for the destruction in the Middle East, in order to further the Israeli cause of ‘Greater Israel’. US military is used for overt war, and Israel is doing the secret covert war. Not pretty.
Richard – the channel-2 TV piece is about activity that is beyond the border fence – but not beyond the armistice line. The fence vs. Syria (and also vs. Lebanon) – is not on the exact border, but rather a little bit inside the border line, and sometimes a little bit more inside, due to topographical considerations (you don’t want the fence across a ravine, for instance).
From that area – they are looking inside the Syrian area.
While the IDF may or may not go farther than this – the channel2 piece doesn’t say that it does (at most – what is shown there – is inside the UNDOF buffer zone which due to UNDOF leaving their posts, is a no man’s land).
@ lepxii: It is not a “border fence.” Nor is it “no man’s land.” It is Syrian territory. All of it. There is no “border” in that spot recognized by anyone, least of all the Syrians. It is simply a fence built by Israel to mark its own occupied territory. Conquest of all this territory is not recognized by any country or by international law. So Israel is invading Syrian territory, plain & simple.
But nice try…
Richard – you reply dismisses the whole piece. If the border isn’t recognized by anyone, than for years, all the towns and army camps in the Angolan Heights have been “incursions”. What are the news here?
Like you wrote – nice try.
@ Jim: There is a border which Israel recognized until 1967. But Israel crossed it & conquered Syrian territory and now calls it “Israeli.” But it isn’t. It is Israel which doesn’t recognize the border which every other nation in the world does.
No, don’t tell me. Now Israel is colonizing Africa? Bringing it all back home, to Herzl’s original proposal…
Don’t try to outsnark me, bud.
Yes, you could say that – but that applies to the entire Golan area held by Israel (regardless of the location of the fence) – where there are many Israeli troops (and civilians).
You are naive about the relationship between the Israeli Government and the Assads since 1967.
Instead of answering my question, you’ve, again, ‘inverted and diverted’.
Israel is not a U.S. proxy army. It is a sovereign State that conducts, right or wrong, it’s own foreign policy, to wit; Israel attacked Iraq’s nuclear power station and that act was condemned by the United States.
Hezbollah is an Iranian proxy army, so much so, that it is unclear who is even running Syria anymore.
What does the Assad regime need with surface to ship missiles? Assad is in a life or death struggle with enemies who have no navy. Obviously these offensive weapons are for Iranian-trained Hezbollah terrorists who can only use them against Israel’s navy.
Richard. You remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, don’t you?
@ Seamus Ignoramus: Israel is as much a U.S. proxy as Syria is an Iranian proxy. They are both sovereign states who demand that their territorial integrity be respected. Sovereignty means the right to conduct one’s business without unwanted interference from outsiders. That means Syria gets to make decisions about who its friends are just as Israel does. If Israel refuses to honor this principle then by right any hostile nation has every right to take matters into its own hands and frustrate or sabotage any threatening aspect of Israeli military strategy or infrastructure.
As for Hezbollah, it too is a major political and military player in Lebanon. It exerts its influence internally & in the region in ways that are no different the ways Israel does. If you have any criticisms of Hezbollah, then look in the mirror. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Why does Israel need surface to air missile or nuclear weapons? You have as much right to determine what weapons Syria has legitimate use for as Assad has to determine whether Israel has a right to its weapons. Your level of hypocrisy knows no bounds.
As for Assad’s life or death struggle with enemies: one of them is Israel, which does indeed have a navy. And Assad’s major ally is Hezbollah, which also is an enemy of Israel. So it too needs to consider naval weapons & warfare.
You are done in this thread.