Syria is likely to use proxies to respond indirectly to the Jewish state’s air strike last month on an undisclosed military facility, Israeli Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said yesterday.
“In our view, Syria does not want to escalate the situation and embark on a conflict with Israel right now. However, we believe that it could work against Israel indirectly,” said Yadlin during a security meeting yesterday.
The information comes as a newly released book disclosed Syria recently formed a new guerrilla group modeling itself after the Lebanese Hezbollah militia. The new group is preparing for “resistance attacks” against the Jewish state, according to leaders of the group speaking during in-person interviews.
In his new book, “Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!” WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein obtained access to the leadership of the new purported Syrian group, calling itself the Committees for the Liberation of the Golan.
“If an agreement is not quickly forged between Israel and Syria [for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan], we will begin attacks,” a senior leader of the Committees told Klein, speaking on condition his name be withheld.
The Golan Heights is strategic mountainous territory looking down on Israeli and Syrian population centers captured by Israel after Damascus twice used the territory to attack the Jewish state.
The Committees leader stated Syria watched as Israel “lost” a war against the Lebanese Hezbollah militia in the summer of 2006 and noted the Syrian leadership learned that “fighting” is more effective than peace negotiations with regard to gaining territory.
The leader explained in “Schmoozing” his group will initiate rocket attacks and Hezbollah-like raids against Israeli troop positions and Golan-based Jewish communities in hopes of eventually provoking a conflict or generating domestic Israeli pressure for Israel to vacate the Golan.
Much of the Israeli sections of the Golan look down on Syria, and there are U.N. posts at international buffer areas between the Israeli and Syrian sides of the territory, but the Committees leader explained there are multiple points of vulnerability along the Syria-Israel border that can be exploited, including many Israeli sections of the Golan that are level with the Syrian sides.
The Committees for the Liberation of the Golan Heights consists of Syrian volunteers, many from the Syrian border with Turkey and from Palestinian refugee camps near Damascus, the Committees leader stated. He said Syria held registration for volunteers to join the Committees last June.
Israel is taking seriously the claims of formation of the Committees.
Intelligence chief Yadlin stated Syria is indeed in the early stages of forming a Hezbollah-like group.
Israeli security officials speaking to WND said Syrian President Bashar Assad is under heavy pressure from Iran and from senior elements within his military to retaliate for the Israeli aerial strike, especially after Israel Defense Forces last week officially confirmed a raid in Syria took place.
The security officials said if pressure continues to escalate or if the IDF conducts other operation inside Syria, Assad, realizing his army is not prepared for a direct confrontation with Israel, may respond by launching guerrilla attacks against the Golan Heights.
Last week, Mohammad Habbash, a member of the Syrian parliament, told reporters Syria may resort to a guerrilla war:
“If the Israeli side launches attacks, believe me we will be very harsh in our response,” stated Habbash. “It will be a guerrilla war. There will be guerrilla warfare coming from Lebanon and Syria, and it will be very harsh.”
In an interview with the BBC this past Monday, Assad said Syria is still considering an “appropriate” response to the Israeli aerial attack. He said it wouldn’t have to be “missile-for-missile” but could be a political reaction.
Assad claimed Israeli jets hit an unmanned military facility in the Sept. 6 raid.
The IDF has not announced the exact target of its missile strike except that it was a military installation, but multiple newspapers reports have alleged Israel destroyed a facility at which North Korea was transferring nuclear technology to the Syrians.
To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.