(Arab News) LONDON: The Syrian regime is disguising Iran-allied militias as its own fighters, a battlefield feint that appears calculated to try to avoid further Israeli air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
According to rebels, the Syrian regime is disguising convoys of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and other Iran-backed militias as its own fighters, to avoid further Israeli airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria.
Israel, which has said it won’t allow forces loyal to Iran to entrench near its border, has watched closely as the regime and its allies appear to be preparing a military assault on rebels in southwestern Syria.
After initially appearing to withdraw from the border, forces loyal to Iran returned to both Daraa and Quneitra provinces in southwest Syria, near the border with Israel, with rockets and missiles, a rebel commander said.
“It’s a camouflage,” said Ahmad Azam, a commander with the rebel Salvation Army, a group based in Quneitra. “They are leaving in their Hezbollah uniform and they are returning in regime vehicles and dressed in regular [Syrian] army uniforms,” Azam said, adding that many of the foreign fighters in Syria had received ID cards of dead Syrian fighters.