The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) targeted the office of Major General Akram Hawija, commander of the Syrian Arab Army’s 7th Division, during the recent strikes on Syria, the Washington-based Alhurra TV reported on November 19, citing an Israeli source familiar with the situation.
A series of Israeli strikes targeted a number of Syrian and alleged Iranian bases in Syria’s central and southern regions early on November 18. According to Israel, the strikes were a response to an attempt by Unit 840 of Iran’s Quds Force to plant improvised explosive devices on the Israel-Syria separation line in the occupied Golan Heights.
The personal office of Maj. Gen. Hawija was destroyed in the strikes, which wiped out the entire headquarters of the 7th Division.
Hawija was one of five senior Syrian officers who were recently threatened by Israel. The IDF warned the Syrian officers from cooperating with Iran or Lebanon’s Hezbollah in leaflets dropped along the separation line last month.
The unnamed Israeli source told Alhurra that Iran is taking advantage of the poor conditions in southern Syria to recruit fighters.
“Israel is ready to provide them [civilians in southern Syria] with the necessary aid through international organizations such as the Red Cross or UN forces in the Golan,” the source said.
Israel is worried that Iran and its allies are building a “resistance” in southern Syria. Tell Aviv’s attempts to push Iranian forces out of the region through the use of force have been a failure, so far.
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