An Israeli soldier walking next to a tank at an army position overlooking southern Lebanon in the northern Israeli town of Metula, along Israel’s border with Lebanon, November 16, 2017. (AFP)

January 9, 2021

Israel is escalating its “war between wars” campaign by demanding the removal of Lebanese Hezbollah, along with all Iranian militias from Syria.

As a result, Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets in several areas in southern Syria warning the regime forces against its collaboration with Hezbollah and Iranian militias.

The leaflet also threatened the commander of the Syrian army’s 112th Brigade, Basil Abu Eid, residing in Quneitra, with assassination.

Addressing Abu Eid, the leaflet said that despite prior warnings, he was still allowing Hezbollah forces to operate in the area under his command.

“Hezbollah has brought destruction and instability to the region. You personally and the army, in general, will pay the price. Now is the time for Hezbollah to leave Syria. Now is the time for Hezbollah to leave the 112th Brigade,” read the leaflet.

Earlier, Israel reportedly attacked sites of the regime and pro-Iranian forces but deliberately avoided Hezbollah’s locations.

Israeli sources considered it an escalation in Israeli goals and demands.

Tel Aviv is no longer satisfied with just removing Iran and its militias from Syria as it now wants Hezbollah out of the country as well. It is also threatening the regime’s army of increased operations.

Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, announced in a meeting with Northern Brigade leaders that the army executed over 50 attacks and many covert operations in 2020, forcing Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to evacuate many of its bases in Syria and withdraw some of its militias.

Kochavi revealed that Iranian bases, camps, and headquarters have been evacuated from the Damascus area as part of a campaign to move them to northeastern Syria.

Within the framework of Tel Aviv’s “war between wars” military activities, the frequency, and quality of Israeli operations have increased in Syria, and so did the range of covert activities.

The Iranian repositioning in Syria slowed down over the past two years as a result of the Israeli activities, announced Kochavi.

The number of Iranian activists in Syria and affiliated militias has also decreased significantly.

A senior Israeli official indicated in a press briefing that President Bashar al-Assad realized that the Iranian presence complicates the situation and contributes to the Turkish expansion in the north.

Assad doesn’t dare to speak with the “rude officials” in Tehran, who insist on using his country as part of their goals to control the region, according to the official.

Iran evacuated some of its sites, however, it kept Hezbollah in its locations. Tel Aviv is trying to prevent that because the party wants to use southern Syria as another front for its war against Israel.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.