Israeli forces secretly destroyed two Syrian regime Golan outposts
Israeli forces crossed the ceasefire line with Syria last month and destroyed two Syrian regime military outposts, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.
This was in response to Syrian regime forces entering a demilitarised buffer zone near the Golan Heights, according to The Jerusalem Post newspaper.
Israel has illegally occupied the Golan Heights region of southwestern Syria since 1967 and annexed it in 1981.
In 1974, the US brokered a disengagement agreement between Syria and Israel, which set up the UN-patrolled buffer zone. According to the Israeli daily, the entry of Syrian regime forces into the buffer zone was a violation of the disengagement agreement.
Israeli commando forces from the Nachal and Yahalom Brigades secretly crossed into the area and destroyed the regime outposts on 21 September, according to a tweet by Avichay Adraee, the Israeli army’s Arabic-language spokesman.
Adraee posted video footage of the incursion, saying it took place in the north of the Golan Heights. He added that Syrian regime forces had used the outposts for reconnaissance and "routine security".
An unnamed Israeli commander said that explosives were planted in the two outposts and detonated simultaneously.
Another commander, Lieutenant Colonel Tal Goritzki, added that the Israeli army feared the outposts could be used by the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which has fought two wars against Israel and intervened in the Syrian conflict on the side of Bashar Al-Assad's regime in 2012.
"We won't allow southern Syria to become southern Lebanon," Goritzki said.
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.
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.