Israel drops leaflets warning Syrian regime forces to stay away from Iran-backed militias
Israeli forces distributed leaflets in southwestern Syria warning regime forces not to deal with Hezbollah or Iranian militias in the area, after an Israeli strike on a nearby school that was allegedly being used as a base by pro-Tehran fighters.
Media activist Mohammed Hourani told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that the leaflets were found in areas in Quneitra province, near the occupied Golan Heights, where regime forces were present in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Hourani added that it was not clear how the leaflets had been distributed, saying that they could have been dropped from the air or distributed by Israeli agents operating in the area. He said that there had been no anti-aircraft fire from regime forces on Tuesday/Wednesday night.
Hourani noted that the leaflet directly addressed leaders of certain formations of the regime's army, such as General Ali Asaad of the First Brigade and General Akram Hawija of the Fifth Division, indicating that Israel has a high-level of intelligence of on the ground events in the area.
The Syrian opposition "Houran Free League" media network published a photo of one of the leaflets on its Facebook page.
On Wednesday, the regime news agency SANA reported that an Israeli missile hit a school in the village of Al-Huriya north of Quneitra, without mentioning casualties or how the strike was carried out.
Local sources later told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that the school was being used as a training base for "The Syrian Resistance to Free the Golan", a militia backed by Iran and Hezbollah.
Syrian rebel and Islamist groups used to control areas near the Golan Heights, but the Assad regime took over the entire Syrian side of the buffer area in 2018. Iran-backed militias entered the area after this.
Far-right Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman, who was the country's defence minister at the time, expressed approval of the Syrian regime's return to the area.