A report by the New York Times claims that Israel has been regularly supplying Syrian rebels near its border region for years with money, food, fuel and medical equipment. According to the report, which was published yesterday, “the goal of the covert involvement is to create a buffer zone between the two countries populated by friendly forces.” The report relies on interviews with five Syrian rebels who say the IDF maintains contact with opposition organizations and the aid it supplies includes payments to rebel commanders, which they in turn use to pay the salaries of fighters and purchase weapons and ammunition. Israel denied the report, saying it is not involved in Syria’s civil war.
Nevertheless, following a TV7 investigation into Israel’s alleged involvement, several sources have confirmed Israel’s covert support of groups that Jerusalem defines as ‘moderate’, which are operating in the country’s border region. The goal of the support aims at assuring Israel’s security interests, primarily to thwart attempts by Iranian backed militias to establish a military foothold in close proximity with the Jewish state, a reality that Israeli security officials have declared on several occasions, is not acceptable.