The Jews-only state of Israel armed at least 12 different “Syrian rebel” groups—most of them who turned out to be ISIS-aligned—since 2013, several leaders of those groups have admitted in an interview with Foreign Policy (FP) magazine.
According to a September 6, 2018, article in FP, the “military transfers, which ended in July of this year, included assault rifles, machine guns, mortar launchers and transport vehicles.
“Israeli security agencies delivered the weapons through three gates connecting the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to Syria,” the article added.
Israel also provided salaries to rebel fighters, paying each one about $75 a month, and supplied additional money the groups used to buy arms on the Syrian black market, according to the rebels and local journalists.
The payments, along with the service Israel was getting in return, created an expectation among the rebels that Israel would intercede if troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad tried to advance on southern Syria.
When regime forces backed by Russian air power did precisely that this past summer, Israel did not intervene, leaving the rebel groups feeling betrayed.
“This is a lesson we will not forget about Israel. It does not care about … the people. It does not care about humanity. All it cares about it its own interests,” said Y., a fighter from one of the groups, Forsan al-Jolan.
FP said that Israel has tried to keep its relationship with the groups a secret. FP also claims that the “rebel groups” were all “moderates” but, as the facts clearly showed, most of these groups were anything but.
As the FP article said: “The assistance is significant for several reasons. It marks one more way Israel has been trying to prevent Iran from entrenching its position in Syria—alongside airstrikes on Iranian encampments and political pressure Israel brought to bear via Russia, the main power broker in Syria.
“It also raises questions about the balance of power in Syria as the civil war there finally winds down. With the Iranian forces that helped Assad defeat the rebels showing no inclination to withdraw from Syria, the potential for the country to become a flash point between Israel and Iran looms large.”
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that the Syrian state has the right to impose control over all its territory, including Idleb, which is the final hotbed of terrorists.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the Tehran Summit for the guarantor states of the Astana process (Russia, Iran, and Turkey), Putin said that about 95 percent of Syrian territory has been liberated from terrorism while the remaining terrorists are positioned in the “de-escalation zone” in Idleb.
From there, he continued, the terrorists are “making attempts to disrupt the cessation of hostilities and carry out and prepare various kinds of provocations, including the use of chemical weapons.”
He stressed that the bombings and attacks carried out by terrorists in Idleb cannot be ignored, adding that “there is a large number of civilian population in Idleb, and we have to take this into account. I have said that there are ongoing provocations and that attacks are being carried out with the use of drones, as well as bombings, and we cannot ignore this.”
Putin asserted that the Syrian government has the right to take control of all its national territory, and this is what it should eventually do. He pointed out that implementing this task should be tackled using the mechanisms that have “allowed the solution of such problems in the recent past”—in other words, military intervention.