Israel said it will not tolerate Russian air support for Hezbollah
Conflict News and others reported on Saturday the possibility of Israel air activity over Syria. The reports are unconfirmed and few details are available.
Earlier Saturday the Syrian government claimed it has retaken Dahret al-Kassar in the Quneitra province after carrying out intensive operations against positions of Jabhat al-Nusra.
Quneitra is opposite Israeli military positions in the Golan Heights.
Syria began its operation against al-Nusra in February and, according to the Times of Israel, Hezbollah has played a key role in ground operations in the region.
The placement of thousands of the groups soldiers near the Syrian-Israeli border, with the organization not even trying to conceal its involvement in the battles, signifies much more than just another operation, the Times reported on February 16.
On October 19 Yochanan Visser wrote:
Hezbollah fighters are already along the border with Israel on the Golan Heights and have seized the so-called UN Hill opposite the Druze town of Magdal Shams on the Israeli Golan Heights. They have taken control of the strategically important mountain to release pressure on the Syrian city of al-Baath that houses an important military base, and are now expected to advance in the direction of the town of (Quneitra) opposite the observation point on the Israeli Golan Heights.
According to the Israeli intelligence source DEBKAfile, Israeli president Binyamin Netanyahu made it clear during a meeting with Russias Vladimir Putin Hezbollah forces would not be permitted to establish a presence opposite the Israeli Golan border and that any Russian air activity over southern Syria and areas close to its borders was unacceptable.
The possibility of Israeli fighter jets being scrambled against Russian aerial intervention in the Quneitra battle was not ruled out.
In September Israeli Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz said his country will not tolerate the presence of Hezbollah near the border. He made the statement as Netanyahu flew to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly.
In August it was reported that Israel was preparing for a possible ground invasion of Syria.
The Israelis began large division-scale training in the occupied Golan Heights in mid-August under the pretext ISIS may invade.
It also cited the presence of Hezbollah fighters in Syria.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in 2006 in Lebanon, northern Israel and the Golan Heights. Some analysts consider the 34-day war as the first Iran-Israel proxy conflict.
In the scenarios envisioned by the IDF, heavily-armed terrorist cells would infiltrate the Israeli side of the Golan and attack Jewish and Druze villages there, necessitating a strong Israeli response in Syria, Israel Today reported on August 17.
The announcement of invasion preparations coincided with the possibility Israel may move its border east to protect the Druze and other non-hostile populations that are today threatened by the Islamists, the website reported.