Israeli intervention in Syria looking more likely

This is following an alliance between the rebel Yarmouk Martyrs Brigades and IS.
Photo Credit: Channel 2

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke with outgoing US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to discuss increased Israeli involvement in the war against IS.  According to a report in Haaretz, Israel has been assisting villages around the Golan in exchange for keeping extremist Islamist groups away from the border.   But with the recent defection of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade from the FSA to the IS dominated Islamist axis, a fact which has been confirmed on Debka and by retired Major General Amos Gilad on Reshet Bet, Israel may have to become more actively involved in the Syrian civil war due to the ascendancy of Islamic State in strategically sensitive areas near the Israeli border. 

Additionally, the National reported that Mousab Zaytouneh, a leading figure in the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigades that was killed last Monday, was secretly in league with Islamic State. The report noted that there have been numerous reports from opposition sources that various FSA brigades have been secretly aligned with Islamic State. According to a report in Al Monitor, media leaks on some jihadist pages indicated that the most important sleeper cells in Daraa, which might have pledged their allegiance to IS, include Saraya al-Jihad led by Abu Musab; Tawheed al-Janoub Brigades; and Yarmouk Martyrs.

Although Yarmouk has not pledged formal alliance to IS, but merely signed an operational cooperation pact with it, it still represents a major danger to Israel. This sudden defection leaves IDF defense formations on the Golan, US and Jordanian deployments in the northern part of the kingdom, and pro-Western rebel conquests in southern Syria in danger of collapse. It provides IS with direct access to a long section of Israel's Golan Heights border with Syria for the first time, as the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade is primarily based in southwestern Daraa Province near the crossroads between Jordan, Syria and the Golan Heights.

According to a report in American Thinker, the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigades was behind taking 21 Filipinos working for UNDOF hostage in March 2013. The group is believed to be named after a battle that took place along the Yarmouk River near the Golan Heights, when the Rashidun Caliphate fought against the Byzantines in 636 AD. The battle ended Byzantine control in the area and led to Islamic rule in the region. For the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, the naming of their group after the Yarmouk battle symbolizes their political aims; the BBC notes that their ideology is Islamist, implying that signing an operational cooperation pact with Islamic State should not come as a surprise.

"Israel cannot stand by while red lines which endanger its security are being crossed," Ya'alon stated previously.  "This year, we find ourselves facing radical Islamic terrorism, which lurks in every Middle Eastern corner, seeking to destroy us only for who we are. The relentless terrorism is activated by cruel organizations which do not hold back on means, and will do everything to try and sabotage our existence here in Israel."  

 



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