TEL AVIV – Iranian officers working with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization are fighting their way closer to Israel’s northern border with Syria and could soon be in control of the Syrian side of the armistice line.
A government source from Syria’s Ministry of Information confirmed to WND a report Tuesday from a U.K.-based human rights organization which stated Hezbollah and Iranian forces were leading a counterinsurgency targeting rebel strongholds in Quneitra, just on the other side of Israel’s border with Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Hezbollah-Iran axis is also leading battles against Islamist insurgents in Daraa, at the Jordan-Israel border and along the southwest of Damascus province.
WND last month was first to report that according to Mideast defense officials, Hezbollah and Iran were planning an imminent counterinsurgency against rebel-held positions inside and near the Syrian sections of the Golan Heights aimed at taking the strategic border territory.
Now the source from Syria’s Information Ministry has confirmed to WND that “dozens” of Iranian officers are leading the battle with both strategy and field tactics. The source said Iranian forces are giving instructions to both the Syrian army and Hezbollah, who are carrying out the attacks.
“The operation started two days ago and is very big,” Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, said Tuesday.
“Regime troops and their Hezbollah-led allies are advancing in the area linking Daraa, Quneitra and Damascus provinces,” the group stated.
On Wednesday, Syrian television for the first time reportedly recognized the contribution of Iranian forces to the counterinsurgency.
“The operation launched by the Syrian army is being fought in cooperation with … Hezbollah and Iran,” a Syrian army officer told state television, Agence France-Presse reported.
Israel has been on alert and anticipating retaliation after an Israeli official took the unusual step of recognizing his country was responsible for a strike last month a Hezbollah convoy near the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.
The attack killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Mohammed Allahdadi as well as a Hezbollah commander and the son of the group’s late military leader, Imad Muughniyeh. Hezbollah said six of its members died in the strike.