News and Commentary

Iranian-Backed Forces In Syria Disguise Themselves As Syrians To Evade Israel

The murderous Syrian regime led by Bashar Assad, dependent on Iranian-backed forces, is disguising Iran-allied militias as Syrian fighters so that Israel won’t target them, according to a commander with the rebel Salvation Army.

The Wall Street Journal spoke with that commander, Ahmad Azam, who said, “It’s a camouflage. They are leaving … in their Hezbollah uniform and they are returning in regime vehicles and dressed in regular [Syrian] army uniforms.”

Israel has been firm in its resolve to prevent forces loyal to Iran to entrench near its border. The Journal quoted several rebel commanders who stated that the Hezbollah members and other Iranian-backed forces pretend to withdraw, then returned to both Daraa and Quneitra provinces near Israel, dressed in Syrian military uniforms and under Syrian flags. In addition, the forces brought rockets and missiles.

Azam said many foreign fighters who were disguised were handed Syrian identification cards; another commander added that those cards were the property of men who had died in previous battles.

Al-Masdar News, loyal to the Assad regime, said the coming offensive in the area “will not have any foreign elements involved.” A commander with the opposition Southern Front said that was a ruse, adding, “The [Syrian] reinforcements they are speaking of is just theater, it’s a play to show that they are removing the Iranian forces.”

At the end of May, Assad blustered, “Iran helps us, but there are no Iranian forces among us. There never have been. That can’t be hidden. We wouldn’t be ashamed to say if they were. Just as we invited the Russians, we could have invited the Iranians.” Days later, Syria’s foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, admitted that Iranian military advisers were embedded with Syrian troops but insisted Iran had no combat forces or fixed bases in the country.