Assad plans to open ‘resistance’ front in Golan, says report

According to Lebanese daily, Syrian president believes focusing on Israel will unify his people

Syrian President Bashar Assad gestures as he speaks at the Opera House in central Damascus, Syria, in January (photo credit: AP/SANA)
Syrian President Bashar Assad gestures as he speaks at the Opera House in central Damascus, Syria, in January (photo credit: AP/SANA)

According to a Lebanese report on Friday, embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad plans to open a “resistance” front on the Golan Heights and thinks such a move could unify the various factions in Syria.

Assad possesses a detailed plan for the establishment of such a front, reported the Beirut-based Al Akhbar daily, which would in practice be similar to the terrorist group Hezbollah’s activities in southern Lebanon.

Syrian society’s involvement in the “resistance” against Israel — according to statements attributed to Assad and allegedly made to recent visitors at his presidential palace in Damascus — would unite the homefront.

Meanwhile, two more Syrians wounded in their country’s ongoing civil war were brought into Israel for treatment on Thursday. The IDF transported them to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed, where they received emergency care.

Israel has maintained that it will not allow refugees into the country, but it has treated a small number of wounded Syrian civilians in Israeli hospitals near the Golan Heights.

The IDF confirmed to The Times of Israel that the two Syrians arrived at the Israeli border Thursday, and “due to their medical condition, they were transferred for further treatment in Israel.”

They are the latest in a steady trickle of civilians to receive treatment in Israel. On Tuesday, a handwritten doctor’s note was found attached to the clothing of a Syrian man brought to Israel in critical condition. The note detailed, in Arabic, previous surgical procedures and medical care the man had received days before in Syria. It asked Israel to save his life because the Syrian doctors could not provide the necessary medical treatment.

This was the first case of a cross-border “transfer” from a Syrian medical facility. Israel has so far treated more than 20 Syrians who have been injured as a result of the civil war, and the IDF has set up a field hospital along the Israeli-Syrian border to help care for the injured.

Last week doctors received an unpleasant surprise when they found a live hand grenade in the pocket of another Syrian patient.

The discovery led to the temporary evacuation of the hospital’s trauma unit, until police sappers could remove the explosive device.

Initial reports of an IDF field hospital in the Golan Heights surfaced in February.

“Our policy is to help in humanitarian cases, and to that end we are operating a field hospital along the Syrian border,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee this month. “In cases where there are badly wounded, we transfer them to Israeli hospitals. We have no intention of opening refugee camps.”

This week, the first Syrian heart patient left Israel after her successful surgery at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. The four-year-old patient and her mother spent a month living in Jerusalem while she recovered. After seeing that she returned safely, on Thursday the family of a second Syrian child heart patient submitted a visa request to the Israeli government, which had previously extended an invitation for the patient to receive treatment at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.

The United Nations stated Thursday that, according to its figures, at least 93,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the fighting.

Most Popular
read more: