It is always the same thing, when we say that the criminal Zionist entity is helping terrorist and jihadist groups, we are accused of conspiracy, but it only takes a little while for Zionist officials to confirm what we said several years in advance. Not only is it confirmed by Israeli officials, but it is also broadcast by Zionist media in a public and official manner.
So the most important question remains to be asked: how is it that so-called Islamist fundamentalists can work hand in hand with their worst enemy, the criminal Zionist entity, receiving light weapons and medical care in particular?
The outgoing Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot acknowledged this week and for the first time that Israel had provided weapons to Syrian rebel groups on the Golan Heights during the seven years of civil war that ravaged the country.
Until Sunday, the Jewish state officially recognized only humanitarian aid to armed opposition groups on the other side of the border, denying or refusing to comment on information about potential arms deliveries.
In an interview with the British Sunday Times and as he prepares to leave his post as Chief of Staff this week, Eizenkot said that Israel had given small arms to rebel groups along the border, saying that these weapons had met “self-defence” needs.
For years, Israeli arms supplies to these opposition groups have been mentioned – by the Syrian army, which sought to discredit the rebels by depicting them as Zionist-activated puppets, and by opposition groups seeking to expand their cooperation with the Jewish state in the fight against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad – but the reality of this information had never been confirmed by Israeli officials.
Eizenkot’s comments in the Sunday Times seem to be part of a broader movement within the military and defence establishment. Officials seem to want to be more open about the activities of the Israeli army in Iran and Syria.
While the Chief of Staff gave interviews to Israeli and international media on the occasion of his departure, more or less classified information in the past about the struggle of Israeli soldiers against Iran’s anchoring in Syria is now surfacing.
In his interviews, Eizenkot acknowledged, among other things, that the Israeli army had carried out hundreds of operations in Syria – according to the articles, the number rose to 200 and 400 in others – and pointed out that 2,000 bombs had hit Iranian targets in 2018 alone.
“We have carried out thousands of attacks in recent years without claiming them and without attributing them to us,” the army commander told the Sunday Times.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also abandoned the policy of “general recognition and specific ambiguity” in Syria, under which Israel claims to be conducting raids on Syrian territory without claiming any individual strikes that may take place.
On Sunday, Netanyahu confirmed that the Israeli army had bombed weapons depots around Damascus International Airport two days earlier.
However, this recognition of the Jewish state’s support for rebel groups in Syria has been highly unusual, with Israeli officials repeatedly stating for years that the country did not become involved in the Syrian internal conflict – which was clearly a lie in view of Eizenkot’s comments.
But while the subject of support for Syrian rebels had not been revealed in Israel, foreign news media had freely raised the issue.
Last September, Foreign Policy magazine announced that the Jewish state had provided arms and funds to at least 12 Syrian rebel groups to prevent Iran-supported forces and Islamic state jihadists from establishing themselves along the border.
The report, which quoted interviews given by many rebel figures, stated that Israeli support included the payment of combatants’ salaries up to $75 per month and the delivery of arms and other equipment to the groups.
Israel had not commented on the report at that time.
Foreign Policy explained that support for rebel groups began in 2013 with funding for groups in Quneitra and Daraa. However, it ended this summer with the advance of the regime’s forces, which have achieved victories in southern Syria against the rebels. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops regained control of the border area in July.
The Syrian army reported in 2013 that it had confiscated Israeli weapons in rebel hands.
According to the report, Israel reportedly sent assault rifles, machine guns, mortar launchers and vehicles to rebel groups, among others. The country reportedly first transmitted M16-type rifles, manufactured in the United States, which could not be traced back to the source of the shipment in Jerusalem, and then provided firearms and ammunition from an Iranian shipment to the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah that the Jewish state had captured in 2009, according to Foreign Policy.
The report noted that Israel’s total support remained modest compared to the funds and assistance provided to the groups by other interested parties, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States.
Although no comments were made on military aid in support of the rebels, last year the Jewish state revealed the extent of its humanitarian assistance in Syria, the care given to chronically ill children without any access to a hospital, the construction of clinics in Syria and the delivery of hundreds of tons of food, medicines and clothing to war-torn villages across the border.
Israel had initially responded to the humanitarian tragedy caused by the conflict by providing medical care to wounded Syrians, caring for thousands of people in field hospitals in the border area but also in public institutions, particularly in northern Israel, since 2013.
But the army also revealed that, since June 2016, it had been working as part of Operation Good Neighbour – a multi-faceted massive humanitarian aid operation – to ward off the threat of famine from the thousands of Syrians living along the border and provide basic medical treatment to those who needed it and were unable to access it in Syria because of the war.
The programme ended this summer with Assad’s return to the border area.