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Syria: Is Israel Planning To Escalate?


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Yesterday four rockets or mortars fired from the Syrian side of the Golan heights landed on Israel occupied parts of the Syrian Golan without causing any damage. A recent report cited the Israeli defense expert Tzvi Yechezkieli:
He noticed that all terrorist activity directed at Israel on the Golan Heights is the work of Hezbollah and not of Jabhat al-Nusra, the Al Qaeda affiliate that is in control of the border with Israel.
If al Qaeda is in control of the Golan border how would Hizbullah fire small, short ranged missiles over it?

And if Hizbullah could do this why would the Israeli official accuse the Islamic Jihad group?
The Israeli army warned the government in war-wracked Syria it will "suffer the consequences" after four rockets crashed Thursday into the north of the Jewish state and the occupied Golan.

"This was the work of Islamic Jihad, an organisation financed and working for Iran, and we consider the Syrian government responsible for the firing and it will suffer the consequences," the army said in a statement.

It was referring to a Palestinian militant group which is based in the Gaza Strip.
...
The Islamic Jihad denied the military's accusation, saying it was not behind the rocket fire.
So how did the Islamic Jihad fire from Jabhat al Nusra, i.e. their enemies, occupied Syrian border when they are based in Gaza?

It is much more likely that the mortars were fired by al Qaeda to "request" fire support against the advancing Syrian Arab Army. Such has happened before to support Nusra advances and indeed the Israeli forces again obliged. At least 14 attacks against Syrian Army positions were flown and one additional attack against a civil car:
Israel said it carried out an air raid Friday that killed up to five Iran-backed militants it said were behind a rare rocket attack from across the border in Syria.

The strike came a day after Israel launched a dozen air raids on the Syrian-side of the occupied Golan Heights, raising concerns about a possible escalation. 
...
Syrian television identified them as unarmed civilians, the Israeli military source said they were members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group spoke of pro-regime National Defence Forces.

Israel earlier said that it hit 14 Syrian army positions in the Syrian-controlled sector of the Golan on Thursday night in response to the rocket attacks.
There is indeed fear that this could be the start of a larger Israeli operation against the Syrian government and in support of al Qaeda.
Israel is not the only entity supporting Jabhat al Nusra. In southern Syria the CIA trained mercenaries fighting against the Syrian army largely fought together with Jabhat al Nusra. They shared their CIA provided resources and their advances along the Golan height had Israeli fire support.

The Pentagon trained mercenaries who recently were infiltrated from Turkey into Syria before they got routed also had tight coordination with Nusra. Their leader said:
“We were surprised by the attack by Nusra, because we coordinated in advance with Nusra,” Abu Iskandar said. “Four months ago, Nusra showed great admiration for the training project. Nusra said . . . go get guns and come fight [the Islamic State].”
So the very selected "moderate rebels" the Pentagon trained claim tight "coordination" with al-Qaeda. One wonders how those in the US military who spent the last 14 years fighting this or that al Qaeda entity feel about that.

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.
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