Foreign reports were on Wednesday attributing to Israel two separate attacks, in Syria and in Lebanon.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two Hezbollah operatives and three Syrian militiamen of the National Defense Forces were killed in an attack in the Syrian Golan Heights by an Israeli, possibly unmanned, aircraft.
In Lebanon, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said Israeli warplanes struck near the Lebanese border with Syria, wounding six. The jets hit an arms depot in the area of Qousaya in the Bekaa region in eastern Lebanon, the group, which has close links to the Iran-backed Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah, added.
The Syrian army confirmed that Israeli airstrikes hit a pro-Syrian Palestinian militia base along the Syria-Lebanon border, injuring six.In a newsflash, state television quoted a military source as saying Israeli planes had at 3:15 P.M. struck a base belonging to the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a faction that backs President Bashar Assad.
Meanwhile in the Golan Heights, reports coming out of Lebanon said a vehicle in the outskirts of the Syrian town of Khader, near the Israeli border, in the Quneitra district was bombed at noon.
At first, Al-Midian, a Lebanese news channel associated with Hezbollah, reported that only three Syrian activists were killed. Later, German news agency DPA reported that two Hezbollah activists were also killed in the incident.
The IDF said it does not comment on foreign media reports.
The National Defence Forces are militias organized by the Syrian government to fight opposition forces. Syrian officials have said that they were simply a form of civil guard and not militias or Hezbollah activists at all.
Earlier this month, Lebanon’s army said an Israeli drone crashed into the sea off the port of the northern coastal city of Tripoli.
Photographs released by the Lebanese army show Hebrew inscriptions on the aircraft and indicate that it could be an Israeli-made Hermes 450 drone.
Lebanon routinely claims Israeli aircrafts enter its sovereignty and reports of Israeli flights over Lebanon are common – however, the reports are rarely confirmed by Israel.
After the previous times Israel has intervened in Syria, whether or not Israel claimed responsibility, it seems that this attack crossed red lines set by the Israeli security establishment.
Last April, an Israeli aircraft attacked a group attempting to place a mine on the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights. Majdal Shams residents reported then that two of the individuals involved previously lived there, before moving to the Druze village of Khader in Syria.
After thwarting that attempt in April, Israel believed it was ordered by Samir Kuntar, with Iranian backing. Kuntar, a Lebanese Druze who was released from a life sentence for murdering an Israeli family in Nahariya as part of the deal Israel negotiated for the bodies of IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in July 2008. Reports this year have indicated that Kuntar has created a terror network in the Golan Heights with backing from Hezbollah, with Iranian and Syrian support. Kuntar’s network has succeeded in carrying out a few attacks, including rocket fire into Israel and an explosive device last March that injured four IDF paratroopers.
Last January, Iranian General Mohammed Allahdadi was killed in an attack in the Golan Heights attributed to Israel, along with Jihad Mughniyeh. Israel did not confirm the attack, but noted that the assassination did thwart the establishment of a terrorist network in the Golan Heights.
According to reports, Mughniyeh and Allahdadi were with five other Hezbollah operatives, touring the area before beginning to carry out terror attacks there. They planned to launch attacks against Israelis in the Golan Heights by firing rockets and anti-tank missiles, and attempts to cross the border into Israeli towns.