On March 13, the Israeli military uncovered an alleged network set up by Lebanese Hezbollah on the Syrian-held part of the Golan Heights, in order to carry out attacks against Israel. According to the Israeli claims, the network was established without the knowledge of the Damascus government.
The Israeli military called the network “the Golan File” and said that it is led by Ali Musa Daqduq, a senior Hezbollah operative. Daqduq, who has been a member of Hezbollah since 1983, held multiple leadership positions, including as the commander of a Hezbollah special forces unit and the head of security for Hezbollah Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah.
Israel claims that in 2006 Daqduq traveled to Iran to receive instructions and training from the commander of the Iranian Quds Forces, Qassem Suleimani. Later, he was sent to Iraq to head Hezbollah’s activity there.
Daqduq was allegedly responsible for planning a highly sophisticated raid at a US military base in Karbala during his presence in Iraq. During the raid, his group abducted than killed five US service members. Despite this, Daqduq was captured and spent a few years in prison. However, he was released later and returned to Hezbollah’s headquarters in Lebanon.
According to the Israeli military, Daqduq is currently cooperating with several Syrians within the framework of the Golan File network. The supposed Syrian collaborators were identified as Fahim Abu Qais, Talal Hassun and Ismail Mustafa. The Israeli military also accused the military wing of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) of assisting the formation of the network.
Israel claims that the supposed network is now stockpiling weapons, recruiting members and building secret military infrastructure. The network is also gathering intelligence on the Israel-Syria border area from some outposts near the separation lines.
يتم إنشاء الوحدة من خلال الاعتماد على أُطر حزب الله الأخرى القائمة في سوريا ولبنان بالإضافة الى بنية تحتية ووحدات في الجيش السوري وسكان سوريين في الشق السوري من هضبة الجولان pic.twitter.com/ID5SNLiO0D
— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) March 13, 2019
A spokesman for the Israeli military said that Tel Aviv sees the activities of the alleged Hezbollah’s network as a serious threat and warned both Damascus and the Lebanese party from dangerous consequences.
“We have a clear message. We’re not going to allow Hezbollah to establish a terror infrastructure on the Golan, capable of striking Israeli civilians. We hold the Syrian regime responsible for anything that happens inside Syria aimed at Israel. We expect the Syrian regime to implement the 1974 agreement, just as we are doing. Anybody who cares about regional stability should be concerned about the fact that Hezbollah is trying to build a terror network on our doorstep,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus.
During the last two months, the Israeli military stuck several outposts of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) along the separation line. Pro-government sources said that the strikes destroyed surveillance equipment of the army.
These new claims reflect Israel’s panic over Hezbollah deployment in Syria. Tel Aviv had used the Lebanese party as an excuse to strike the SAA on several occasions before. The alleged Golan File network is likely another attempt to justify attacks on the Syrian military.
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