UN reveals Israeli links with Syrian rebels
NEW YORK – The Syrian ambassador to the UN has long complained of a Zionist conspiracy working with the Syrian rebels to overthrow President Bashar Assad.
Now, a report from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) reveals that Israel has been working closely with Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights and have kept close contact over the past 18 months. The report was submitted to the UN Security Council at the beginning of the month.
The documents show that Israel has been doing more than simply treating wounded Syrian civilians in hospitals. This and a few past reports have described transfer of unspecified supplies from Israel to the Syrian rebels, and sightings of IDF soldiers meeting with the Syrian opposition east of the green zone, as well as incidents when Israeli soldiers opened up the fence to allow Syrians through who did not appear to be injured.
At one point, a small tent city was erected around 300 meters away from the Israeli sector for about 70 families of Syrian deserters, the report said.
The Syrian army then sent a letter of complaint to UNDOF, warning them to evacuate the camp or it would be considered a target, and claiming that terrorists were using the camp to cross into Israel.
Israel’s health ministry says around 1,000 Syrians have received treatment in Golan hospitals, but maintains that only civilians are treated. The UNDOF report, on the other hand, says they have seen Israelis treating civilians as well as insurgents, including members of al-Qaida and Islamic State.
The report said UNDOF “observed at least 10 wounded persons being transferred by armed members of the opposition from the Bravo side across the cease-fire line.”
UNDOF has monitored the Golan Heights buffer zone between Israel and Syria since 1974. Six countries contributed to the 1,200-strong brigade.
UNDOF peacekeepers have been the target of kidnappings and attacks carried out by al-Qaida on the Syrian side since September, causing hundreds of troops to withdraw to across Israeli border.