Arab Newspaper: ‘Israel wants to save Assad’

Ranking rebel leader suggests that Israel is aiding the Syrian regime because it allowed Syrian forces to enter UN-controlled areas of the Syrian part of the Golan Heights.

By Roi Kais



Bashar Assad – Photo: Reuters

Mustafa al-Sheikh, the head of the Free Syrian Army‘s military council commented on recent tensions on the Golan Heights and said that “Israelis aiding the Syrian regime and its allies in accordance with their partnership.”

In an interview with the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat, al-Sheikh said that “this agreement was clearly evident when Israel allowed Syrian forces to enter UN-controlled zones in the Golan without any objection.

“The missiles Israel is firing to stir up the Golan front are an attempt to cause tension on the border in order to maintain its ally, Assad.”

“You won’t find more loyal guards on the Israeli border than Syrian President Bashar Assad and his father before him.”

אש ברמה, כוחות צבא וכוננות (צילום: AP)

Tensions on Israel-Syria border – Photo: AP

Nevertheless, the rebel leader stressed that the opposition forces have no intention of starting a conflict with Israel and expressed hope that the international community take the necessary steps to keep the civil war from spreading.

On Monday, a Syrian mortar struck the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, just north of Tel Hazeka. No injuries or damage were reported.

Shortly thereafter, the IDF returned fire, using tanks deployed along the border to target two D-3 mortar launchers belonging to the Syrian army. A direct hit was identified. The IDF reportedly hit two Soviet gun.

(צילום: אביהו שפירא )

Tanks in Golan – Photo: Avihu Shapira

Syrian opposition sources based in Quneitra reported that Syrian Assad’s forces had tempered their shelling of rebel strongholds near the Syria-Israel border.

Al-Sheikh’s remarks are in line with al-Sharq al-Awsat’s editorial “Israel trying to save Assad.”

Editor-in-chief Tariq al-Hamid said that Israel’s response clearly demonstrates that it “is trying to save Bashar and is working to cause anarchy by further deepening the Syrian crisis which prevents crucial decisions to hurry the Damascus dictator’s demise to be made.”

It was further claimed that “what Assad did on the quiet Golan for four decades is exactly what Iraq’s Sadam Hussein did when he fired Scud missiles at Israel in order to drag it into a conflict.”

Meanwhile, a reporter with the Lebanese newspaper al-Nahar said that there is international objection to Israel’s involvement in the Syrian crisis. She claimed that the major powers won’t allow Israel to divert the Syrian conflict’s focus.

It was further claimed that any Israeli intervention would serve Assad’s regime and restore some of his popular support and possibly Arab support.


View original Ynet publication at:,7340,L-4304767,00.html