|Moon of Alabama | Dec 7, 2014|
Today Israeli jets attacked some Syrian military positions near Damascus. Details are yet unknown. But it is important to note that these are not one-off attacks but part for an ongoing active campaign Israel is waging against Syria mostly though through proxy "insurgent" forces.
Three days ago the UN General Secretary received a report from the UN Observer Mission mission on the Golan Heights (UNDOF). The report was an indictment of Israel for its strong cooperation with Syrian insurgents including the Syrian al-Qaeda group Jabhat al-Nusra.
For readers of MoA the extensive support by Israel of Jabhat al-Nusra and others against the Syrian army, including with direct artillery fire against Syrian government troops, is not news. But the main-stream media had so far lacked any reporting on it.
Today the Israeli paper Haaretz is the first to publish about the UN report but it does so very toned done and lacking significant details:
Reports by UN observers in the Golan Heights over the past 18 months reveal the type and extent of cooperation between Israel and Syrian opposition figures.While Haaretz notes some medical support for wounded insurgent fighters it Israel in does not reveal that the numbers are in the hundreds.
According to the report, UN observers stated that tents were set up about 300 meters from the Israeli position for some 70 families of Syrian deserters. The Syrian army sent a letter of complaint to UNDOF in September, claiming this tent camp was a base for “armed terrorists” crossing the border into Israel.
Haaretz notes the "refugee" camp that has been set up near Al Aishah village in Syria some 300 meter from Israeli positions but it omits that the UN confirmed the Syrian claim that these are camps of active insurgents. UNDOF notes:
UNDOF estimates that from 60 to 70 families live in the camps. On 23 September, [UNDOF-]position 80 observed armed individuals gathered in Al Aishah village unloading weapons from a truck. Some individuals were in civilian attire and others in camouflage uniforms. A vehicle with a mounted anti-aircraft gun was observed in proximity to the place of unloading.The UNDOF observers had to retreat from some of their positions on the Syrian side after being attacked by Nusra and other insurgents. They are now limited in their abilities to observe the various exchanges between Israeli soldiers and the insurgents. To achieve that was likely the purpose of their earlier attacks on UN troops.
On 27 October, position 80 observed two IDF soldiers east of the technical fence returning from the direction of the Alpha line towards the technical fence. UNDOF observed IDF opening the technical fence gate and letting two individuals pass from the [Syrian] Bravo to the [Israeli] Alpha side. Following the evacuation of UNDOF personnel from position 85 on 28 August, UNDOF sporadically observed armed members of the opposition interacting with IDF across the ceasefire line in the vicinity of United Nations position 85.
Today's attack near Damascus will hardly change the course of the war. It is probably just a political move by the outgoing Israeli prime minister Netanyahoo using Syria as a "punching bag" to divert from his interior political misfortune. It is time for Syria and its allied forces to demonstrate to Netanyahoo and Israel that any further attacks by it will have dire consequences.