The Free Syrian Army (FSA), the opposition’s main fighting force, accused Israel on Tuesday of aiding Bashar Assad’s regime, declaring that any future cross-border action by Israel would be considered an act aimed at thwarting the revolution.
General Mustafa Sheikh, commander of the FSA’s military council, told the Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat that Israel could not find a more loyal partner than Bashar Assad on its border, accusing Israel of working in tandem with the regime and its allies.
“This agreement became clear when Israel allowed Syrian forces to enter areas under UN control in the Golan with no objection,” Sheikh told the daily. “The shells fired by [Israel] to mobilize the Golan front are nothing but an attempt to inflame the border in order to maintain its ally Assad.”
On Monday the Free Syrian Army issued a statement in which it explained that the missile fired by Israel on the Syrian-controlled section of the Golan Heights that injured two soldiers was in fact intended “to break the [opposition] siege on the regime forces.”
On Sunday, Israel fired a high-precision Tammuz anti-tank missile toward the Syrian mortar battery as warning fire.
Sheikh added that Free Syrian Army does not intend to confront Israel, but demanded that the international community intervene to prevent the spillover of violence from Syria.
The belief that Israel is backing the regime of Bashar Assad, who has ensured quiet at the border since 1973, is not uncommon among Syrian oppositionists. In September, a member of the Syrian opposition living in Amman told The Times of Israel that Assad has consistently prevented Syrians from retaking the Golan Heights by force.
In media interviews, Israeli officials have repeatedly supported Assad’s ouster.
In an interview with CNN in May, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the fall of Assad would seriously harm Iran and Hezbollah, expressing frustration at the perseverance of the Syrian regime.