When the Syrian military launched a counter-offensive in an attempt to respond to an attack from Al-Qaeda militants in the Golan Heights, it was stopped by an airstrike from the Israeli Air Force—raising serious questions about why Israel is protecting the infamous terrorist group.
The Israeli Defense Forces announced the airstrike on Twitter on Friday, referring to the counter-offensive as a “projectile launched towards Israel from Syria.”
In response to the projectile launched towards Israel from Syria, IAF aircraft targeted the Syrian military position that fired the mortar.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) June 30, 2017
There were reports of the Al-Qaeda linked Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham rebels resuming their offensive in Golan Heights on Monday, and targeting the Syrian military with “a barrage of mortar shells and rockets,” followed by “a large number of militants storming the [Syrian military’s] defenses around Tal Ahmar.”
When Syria responded with a counter-offensive that included rockets and artillery shells, they received a response, not from the Al-Qaeda linked forces, but from Israel.
Israeli Defense Forces responded by using their warplanes to target fire at two Syrian tanks in response to “‘over 10 projectiles’ which had landed in the Golan Heights.” However, the Syrian government is claiming that instead of hitting the tanks, the IDF “hit a parking lot and a residential building, causing civilian casualties.”
Golan Heights is the contested territory between Israel and Syria, which has been occupied by Israel from Syria since 1967. During a speech in April 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the land “will remain forever” under Israel’s control.
Map of Golan Heights
The territory is also a major source of oil. As The Free Thought Project has reported, Israel has been exposed for “covertly supporting Syrian rebels in the disputed Golan Heights territory—providing funds, fuel, food, and medical supplies—according to fighters insisting they’ve received such aid.”
The region is claimed by Genie Oil, a company that has a range of investors, from Rupert Murdoch, to Dick Cheney, to Jacob Rothschild. In order to ensure that the hydrocarbon-rich territory continues to profit Israel and its interests, some Syrian rebels claim they have received around $5,000 a month from the Israeli government.
“Israel stood by our side in a heroic way,” Moatasem al-Golani, spokesman for the “Knights of the Golan” group told the Wall Street Journal. “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance.”
As Israel begins receiving a record $3.8 billion each year in aid from the United States, as part of the largest military assistance deal in U.S. history, Tel Aviv appears to be on the same page as Washington when it comes to foreign policy.
In fact, the latest act of aggression from the U.S. towards Syria occurred on June 18 when the U.S.-led coalition in Syria shot down a Syrian warplane that was targeting ISIS militants near Raqqa.
While the U.S. claimed the Syrian military was targeting the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, Syria has insisted that its forces were “advancing in the fight against ISIS terrorists who are being defeated in the Syrian desert in more ways than one.”
In the same way that the U.S. appears to be protecting ISIS militants, Israel appears to be protecting Al-Qaeda militants, and while both nations target the Syrian government, they do so without consideration of the support Syria receives from Russia, and the global conflict it is creating.