Even as senior sources in the Israeli Defense Forces make increasingly harsh statements against the Assad regime, other sources say that off to the side, Israeli security forces are in touch with residents of Syrian Druze villages along the Golan Heights border.
Thursday’s New York Times reported these developments in an article discussing the possibility of Israel being dragged into the civil war in Syria. According to the report, although Israel officially attempts to refrain from any involvement in the bloody conflict, Israeli security forces have been providing Druze living on the Syrian side of the border with humanitarian assistance and even engaging in intensive intelligence activity.
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The report said that the Druze who are secretly in touch with Israel are not supporters of the regime and do not belong to the rebels.
It was also noted by Israeli authorities that aid to the Syrian Druze does not include arms or weapons, as the villagers are not involved in the civil war.
On Tuesday Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said, “If (Syrian President Bashar) Assad destabilizes the Golan Heights, he will pay a heavy price … he needs to know that we will know how to defend ourselves and we will respond should the need arise.”
Air Force Commander Major General Amir Eshel also commented on the events in Syria, warning against a “surprise war,” and saying that the advanced anti-aircraft missiles S-300 are known to be on their way from Russia to Syria.
Additionally, Eshel warned against “an addiction to technology. If someone thinks we will hit 'enter' and win, he is mistaken. There will not be a recipe for the next war, we will need to know how to deal with setbacks and also with surprises.”
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