WSJ: Israel Gives Secret Aid to Syrian Rebels
The Israeli army is in regular communication with rebel groups and its assistance includes undisclosed payments to commanders that help pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons, according to interviews with about half a dozen Syrian fighters. Israel has established a military unit that oversees the support in Syria and set aside a specific budget for the aid, said one person familiar with the Israeli operation.
WSJ notes that Fursan al-Joulan, based in Quneitra province, has roughly 400 fighters loosely allied with four other rebel groups on the Golan that also receive Israeli aid, according to the commander Abu Suhayb and other rebels. Some of these other groups are affiliated with the Free Syrian Army or receive other Western funding and weapons.
In total, there are roughly 800 rebel fighters across more than a dozen villages in this area, where thousands of civilians live, fighters said. Many of the rebels and civilians in this area rely on some level of support from Israel, they added.
“Most people want to cooperate with Israel,” said a fighter with rebel group Liwaa Ousoud al-Rahman, also fighting on the Golan.
From official Syrian and Russian point of view this Israeli assistance is act of support of terrorism.