The head of a large Iranian-backed Iraqi militia that has been fighting in Syria said his group was “fully prepared” to fight Israel if Damascus asked it to.
Sheikh Akram al-Ka’abi, the leader of Iraq’s Hezbollah al-Nujaba, told the Lebanese news network Al Mayadeen Friday night his group would participate in a Damascus-led attack on Israel’s Golan Heights.
“We are fully prepared to participate in any war with the Syrian Arab Army to liberate the Golan if the Syrian state agrees or requests so,” Ka’abi said.
He said this would be done through the militia’s newest branch, the Golan Liberation Brigade, which was formed in March of this year.
Hezbollah al-Nujaba is reportedly controlled by Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) elite foreign operations unit, the Qods Force.
Ka’abi, who controls a reported 10,000 men in Syria, also said his group was prepared to defend the Lebanese terror group and fellow Iranian proxy Hezbollah from any Israeli attack.
According to the spokesperson,Hezbollah al-Nujaba, the Golan Liberation Brigade comprises of special forces fighters and has advanced weaponry.
When the formation of the brigade was announced, the group released a dramatic video, showing its soldiers marching in formation behind the banner “Israel will be destroyed.”
Israel has raised alarm bells over Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iranian military activity in southern Syria and has vowed to protect the country from any provocation, including reportedly bombing advanced weapons transfers.
Israel conquered the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war. Syria, and extended Israeli law to the Heights in 1981. Most of the international community does not recognize Israel’s control over the territory.
Iran’s leaders routinely call for the demise of Israel. Iran funds, trains and arms terror groups in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon.
Hadashot news (formerly Channel 2) reported Sunday night that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that Israel will intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war if Assad gives formal permission to Iran to establish a military presence in Syria.
Earlier this month, the BBC, citing a Western security official, reported that Iran was setting up a permanent base on a site used by the Syrian army near el-Kiswah, 14 kilometers (8 miles) south of Damascus and 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Israeli border.
The TV report came days after Netanyahu was quoted telling French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call that Israel sees Iranian activity in Syria as “a target” for its forces, and may carry out strikes against Iranian objectives if its security needs require it.
According to a transcript of their November 19 phone call reported by Israel’s Channel 10 TV, Netanyahu told the French leader that “from now on, Israel sees Iran’s activities in Syria as a target. We will not hesitate to act, if our security needs require us to do so.”
Palestinian terror movement Hamas again refused to disarm on Monday ahead of a key reconciliation deadline, instead threatening to carry out attacks against Israel in the West Bank.
By Friday, the Islamists are due to hand over control of the Gaza Strip to the internationally recognized Palestinian government, based in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
But the future of their armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, remains unclear.
“The weapons of the resistance are a red line that is non-debatable,” Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas in Gaza, told a press conference, referring to the Qassam Brigades.
“These weapons will be moved to the West Bank to fight the occupation. It is our right to resist the occupation until it ends.”
Hamas, an Islamist terror group, seeks the destruction of Israel.
Around 400,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, alongside around three million Palestinians.
In Gaza, which Hamas has ruled since seizing it in 2007, there are no settlers after Israel withdrew in 2005.
The United States and Israel have said they will reject any reconciliation agreement leading to a unity government including Hamas unless it disarms, renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has also said there will only be one security force in the Palestinian territories.
The reconciliation agreement signed on October 12 in Cairo does not specify a future for the Qassam Brigades.
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