‘Agents’ in Syria said to transfer fallen anti-aircraft rocket to Israel

Report says a Russian-made S-200 that landed on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights has made its way into Israeli hands

Dov Lieber is The Times of Israel's Arab affairs correspondent.

A picture taken on February 10, 2018, shows the remains of a Syrian missile that landed in northern Israel. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)
A picture taken on February 10, 2018, shows the remains of a Syrian missile that landed in northern Israel. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Israeli “agents” in Syrian border villages reportedly handed over an anti-aircraft rocket fired by the Syrian military at IDF military jets on Saturday to Israeli security forces.

A total of three Russian-made S-200 anti-aircraft missiles were found in non-Israeli territory after the Syrian military fired a barrage of rockets at Israeli jets that were striking both Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria, the al-Khaleej Online news site reported.

The wave of Israeli airstrikes came after the IDF intercepted an Iranian drone that had infiltrated its airspace. During the first wave of strikes, an Israeli F-16 was downed upon its return from Syria.

One of the rockets landed in northern Jordan, fragments of a rocket landed on the Lebanese-Syrian border, and fragments of a third rocket landed near Israel in the Syrian border villages Ain al-Tina and Qusaiba, the report said.

View of the remains of an F-16 plane that crashed near Kibbutz Harduf on February 10, 2018. (Anat Hermony/Flash90)

The fragments that landed near the Israeli border were transferred into Israeli hands by what the report called Israeli “agents” in the area.

The report sourced the information to unnamed local sources inside the Syrian border villages.

Israel is known to have close cooperation with Syrians on its border, with whom it coordinates the transfer of humanitarian aid into the war-racked country.

Additionally, it has been reported that Israel also provides direct financial support to Syrian opposition fighters.

In this undated photo provided on July 19, 2017, IDF soldiers prepare humanitarian aid as part of the army’s ‘Good Neighbor’ program for Syrian civilians on the Syrian Golan Heights. (Israel Defense Forces)

The policy, according to the reports, is aimed at strengthening Syrian rebel groups at the expense of forces hostile to Israel, namely Iranian proxy and Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, as well as various Iranian units fighting on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s behalf in Syria.

While Israel acknowledges its humanitarian operations in southern Syria, it does not comment on whether there is military coordination with opposition groups.

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