IDF exposes covert Hezbollah activities along Israel-Syria border

The Israeli military unveiled classified intelligence information, dubbed “the Golan file,” an extensive covert operation by the Iranian-proxy Hezbollah to build– what the IDF termed as a – “terror infrastructure on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.”

According to the IDF, Hezbollah – which operates in Syria in close cooperation with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp – is actively erecting complex infrastructure along the border with Israel, “to be used by snipers and anti-tank rockets” to confront the Israeli military in a future wide-scale conflagration.

The infrastructure, which was referred to by an IDF source as “highly compartmentalized,” is meant to provide the Iranian backed militias with a complex network of structures, from which Shi’ite militants could carry out coordinated cross-border attacks against Israel.

The IDF source further stressed in a conversation with TV7 that the ongoing Hezbollah efforts are meant to establish, “a second front against Israel,” in addition to its Lebanese-controlled border.

Moreover, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah appointed a highly-decorated member of his organization, Abu Hasin Sajed, for the purpose of stockpiling weapons, gathering intelligence on Israeli’s punier border positions and recruiting local militants into the ranks of the Shi’ite militia. It is important to note that Hezbollah field commander, Abu Hasin Sajed, is a veteran operative who has fought against the Jewish state since 1983, when he commanded various sectors in southern Lebanon. In 2006, Sajed operated in Iraq on Hezbollah’s behalf, where he oversaw operations against U.S. forces, including an operation in which five American soldiers were kidnapped and executed in 2007. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested by the U.S. military and was incarcerated in an Iraqi prison – but was released five years later, after which he returned to Lebanon.  From there, he resumed his Hezbollah-related activities, and since 2018 – Sajid assumed his role as commander of the covert “Golan file” project.

Intelligence officials in the IDF’s Northern Command have revealed that the Hezbollah infrastructure in Syria was established without the knowledge of Syrian President Bashar Assad. That is why, in contrast to previous IDF efforts to thwart Iran’s militant entrenchment in Israel’s war-torn neighbor, Jerusalem decided to counter the “Golan file” project by exposing its details to the media. In addition to the sending of a clear signal to Iran and Hezbollah, according to which the IDF is “fully aware” and “closely monitoring” all of their military actions in Syria, the public-unveiling of these activities is also meant to send a message to Damascus and its benefactor, Moscow, who have made a commitment to Jerusalem that they would not allow any terrorist activity by Iran or its Shi’ite proxies to occur within 80 kilometers of the Israeli border.

This course of action marks a change in Jerusalem’s policy, contrasting with previous counter-actions to similar attempts by Hezbollah to establish a military foothold along the Israeli-Syrian border. In the years 2013 to 2015, a similar Iranian-backed project was active. Nevertheless, the Lebanese organization decided to postpone its project at that time, after two Hezbollah commanders that were responsible for those efforts were assassinated, in attacks ascribed to Israel.

The IDF spokesperson’s unit told TV7 in a statement that it ‘expects the Syrian Regime as the sovereign in its territory to honor the terms of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement, as well as the prevention of any hostile elements, including Hezbollah, from operating out of its territory.’ The statement further emphasized that “The IDF will not allow any attempt by Hezbollah to entrench itself near the border (with Israel) and will act with all (of its) might to force this terrorist organization out of the Golan Heights and ensure the stability of the region.”