The Wall Street Journal: Iran opens a second front on Israel’s borders

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Israel is fighting Iranian expansion in the Middle East, but the danger lurks near its borders.Therefore, the hard work of the IRGC and its agents succeeded in laying the foundation for a second Iranian front with Israel in the Golan Heights to join the first front, northern Israel in southern Lebanon. The Golan, which Israel gained from Syria in 1967.

Reports from both the Israelis and Syrian opposition groups revealed a glimpse of the methods used by the Iranians and their allies to build military infrastructure on the Syrian side of the Golan.

One is the Iranian conquest of Syria, a report published last month by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Prepared by two senior Israeli military intelligence officers, Brigadier General Shimon Shapira and Colonel Jacques Neria, explain how Iranian fighters and Hezbollah infiltrated westward from the Syrian Lagat field, 40 miles from the Golan Heights in southwestern Syria, to the nearest province of Quneitra. .

Iranian element
The Iranian component, consisting of the Revolutionary Guards, the Lebanese Hezbollah and local Syrians who recruited it, is tightly controlled in border villages and in official Syrian security forces, as evidenced by the four permanent bases used by Hezbollah in south-western Syria. One is in al-Harraq in an area controlled and run by the Syrian Army’s 52nd Brigade, two in the Lagat field and used to train locally recruited fighters and store short- and medium-range missiles. The fourth base is located in Quneitra, outside the city, about 3 miles from the Israeli border.

Qasem Soleimani
According to Israeli researchers, al-Qaeda is protected by the Quneitra Falcon Brigade, part of the Syrian National Defense Army, a reserve army established by Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.

The base is located within the site of the 90th Brigade of the Syrian Army and is mainly used for intelligence gathering and eavesdropping.

Before the Syrian civil war, the Golan border was run by well-equipped and largely inactive Syrian recruits.

After July 2018, when Syria expelled the rebels from the region, a completely different force arrived. An Israeli Golan resident who had been deeply involved in security activity in the area gave the author a ground-level view of the new deployments from the other side of the border. He described the surprise of local Israeli security activists, who found well-equipped fighters deployed in patrols near the border.

Members of Hezbollah
Gen. Shapira and Colonel Neria believe these fighters are members of Hezbollah and have noticed that they have set up new positions only 200 meters from the first UN observation posts.

The new Iranian-allied infrastructure near Israel’s border is coupled with its massive recruitment drive among local youth. In the poverty-stricken southwest of Syria, the $ 250 offered by Haj Hashim, the Hezbollah leader in the region, is a tempting offer for young people.