Israel has reportedly been supporting Syrian rebels in an effort to secure its northern border.
Israel has been regularly supplying Syrian rebels near its border in the north with funds as well as food, fuel and medical supplies for years, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
According to the report, Israel has been secretly engaged in Syria’s civil war with the objective of carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces near its border.
“The big threat to Israel” would be Hezbollah having a presence in Syria, which “would give Israel two fronts to deal with,” Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces Marine Corps, stated during a visit to Israel in May.
The report said the aid was being funneled through an IDF unit tasked with supporting independent rebel groups that do not receive help from other Western countries. The funds directed to the groups are used to purchase ammunition and weapons and to pay fighters.
WSJ based its report on interviews with rebels and other unnamed sources.
Moatasem al-Golani, a spokesman for the Fursan al-Joulan rebel group, told WSJ that Israel’s support is essential and significant. “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance. Israel stood by our side in a heroic way.”
Israel has reportedly been supporting the group since 2013, providing them with a monthly stipend estimated at $5,000.
The WSJ report says the IDF refrained from commenting on their report, but did state that it was “committed to securing the borders of Israel and preventing the establishment of terror cells and hostile forces… in addition to providing humanitarian aid to the Syrians living in the area.”
Israel has overtly provided humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees and treated thousands of Syrian casualties in Israeli hospitals. Similarly, several Israeli humanitarian organizations have participated in helping the victims of the half-decade-long civil war.
By: World Israel News Staff