Mossad kidnapped an Iranian general in Syria during a mission to gather intelligence about the fate of long-lost Israeli airman Ron Arad, Arabic-language news site Rai al-Youm reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, the Israeli spy agency transferred the general to an African country where he was interrogated and later released. The news site did not specify whether the general was on active duty but asserted the incident may be linked to an alleged hit attempt on Israeli businesspeople in Cyprus which Israel attributed to Tehran.
However, it should be noted that the London-based outlet defines Israel as "our enemy" in its About Us tab and the credibility of its reporting about Iran has been questionable.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett revealed details about the mission in his address to Knesset at the outset of the Israeli parliament's winter session Monday. Mossad launched an operation in September to learn about the fate and whereabouts of Israeli Air Force weapon systems officer Ron Arad, who crashed over Lebanon in October 1986 and was declared missing ever since.
"It was a complex, large-scale and daring operation. That's all there is to say right now. We made another effort on the way to understanding what happened to Ron," Bennett said. Security sources later said that the mission has failed.
Several hours later, the Prime Minister's Office released a statement saying the operation was successful, contradicting previous reports.
"The mission to obtain intelligence about Ron Arad was a successful one carried out while meeting exceptional operational objectives, a statement read.
"Presenting the information to Knesset members and the general public had value, expressing our great effort and commitment to the return of our sons home, even many years after they were captured by the enemy. Dissemination of any other information is a flat-out lie."