Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90
An old Israeli tank with a flag overlooking the Syrian town of Quneitra in the Golan Heights on Feb. 11, 2018.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) reportedly dropped leaflets over southern Syria on Monday warning Syrian Army soldiers to refrain from cooperating with Iranian-backed Shia and Hezbollah forces operating against Israel in the area, several sources reported.

According to a copy of the leaflets seen by TPS, the IDF warned the Syrian Army soldiers that their “continued cooperation” with Hezbollah and the Syrian Army granting its permission for the Lebanese terror organization to be present in southern Syria will “bring you suffering and disaster.”

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“However, some of you do not hesitate, such as the commander of the patrol company in the 90th Brigade, Capt. Bashar al-Hussein,” the IDF notes.

“Selling of your lives and the lives of civilians in vain to support Hajj Javad Hashem to complete Hezbollah’s monitoring projects in the Khan Tel Krum area, is ignoring the public interest and your safety.”

Hashem is a codename for a leading Hezbollah commander who is a key figure in the group’s military efforts along the Syrian-Israeli border, known as the Golan File.

“Hezbollah controls you and exploits you secretly and publicly. From near and far, this does not prevent us from exposing his dirty deeds anytime and anywhere,” the IDF warned.

This report was preceded by a report earlier in the day on an IAF strike on Sunday night that targeted two central military targets of the Syrian regime forces on the outskirts of the city of Al-Baath near the Khan Tel Krum area, adjacent to Israel’s border with Syria.

The attack caused material damage. No information has been received so far on casualties. Reports indicate that the targeted military installations are also used by the Iranian-supported Shiite militias.

Israel has previously dropped similar warning leaflets in southern Syria.

The IDF in March 2019 announced that it had exposed a clandestine Hezbollah unit that was operating in southern Syria in the area near the border with Israel and where this latest attack occurred.

The unit’s objective is to establish another front against Israel from the Golan Heights, in addition to Hezbollah’s threat from Lebanon.

The IDF published classified information about the “Golan File,” the name for the unit which is commanded by Ali Musa Daqduq, a senior operative in the Lebanon-based terrorist organization.

The purpose of the Hezbollah infrastructure is to act against Israel at a time of deterioration. The infrastructure is at its preliminary stages and has yet to reach the level needed for operational activity and is still in the process of development and consolidation.

Since the exposure of the unit, Israel has reportedly acted against the Iranian-led attempt on several occasions.

In general, Iran’s military build-up in Syria remains a red line for Israel. The IAF has carried out thousands of attacks to thwart the Iranian entrenchment in the war-torn country.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.