A large Hizballah force, backed by the Syrian army and pro-Iranian Shiite militias, is building up outside Quneitra, just 2km from Israel’s Golan border. The Lebanese Shiite fighters, under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) officers, are streaming into southern Syria, armed with tanks and artillery.
Monday night, Sept. 5, Iranian state-controlled media shed light on this movement, reporting that the combined force had “completed preparations necessary for an extensive operation in southern Syria,” adding, “Hizballah aims to put an end to the presence of armed men in the area close to the border.”
The nature of the “armed men” was not specified, but the goal of the new operation was clear: after evicting the assorted anti-Assad groups, including the Islamic State, holding territory “close to the border,” Hizballah and its backers planned to regroup on the Syrian-Israeli boundary.
This would position Iran and its Hizballah surrogate ready to realize their six-year old design, which is to open a second warfront against Israel.
Western and Mid East sources have told DEBKAfile that the triple army is in high spirits after last week’s successful operation in Aleppo. By snatching back parts of the city they lost in mid-August, the Syrian army and its allies managed to cut off the rebels’ supply lines from Turkey.
It was then that some Hizballah units were detached from the Aleppo arena and redirected to the Quneitra front in southern Syria to face the Israeli border.