Syria Accuses Israel of Assassinating Official Close to Golan Heights

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The Syrian authorities on Saturday accused Israel of assassinating a high-ranking Syrian official who spent 12 years in an Israeli jail on terrorism prices earlier than serving a long time within the Syrian authorities.

The official, Midhat Saleh, who was chargeable for overseeing the strategic Golan Heights boundary, was shot and killed by an obvious sniper whereas inside Syria close to the shared border between the 2 international locations.

In an announcement asserting his dying, Syria’s Presidency of the Council of Ministers mentioned Mr. Saleh was “focused by the Israeli enemy with bursts of treacherous bullets whereas returning to his house.”

Mr. Saleh, a member of the Druse non secular minority, served 12 years in an Israeli jail on prices of utilizing mines and explosives with the intention of killing Israeli civilians and troopers.

Credit score…Syrian Arab Information Company

In 1997, after his launch, he went to Syria, the place he was elected to Parliament.

A senior Israeli protection official, who wouldn’t handle Israel’s involvement in any killing, mentioned Mr. Saleh was working with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to ascertain the army infrastructure alongside the border vital for an assault towards Israel.

Israel has been working aggressively towards Iran in Syria quickly after the nation’s civil started and has attacked Iranian or Iranian-related targets within the nation hundreds of times, if no more, as well as carried out a series of assassinations. The combating between Israel and Iran inside Syria successfully constitutes a shadow war, as regional powers check their opponents’ skills amid the carnage of the Syrian civil conflict.

Israel has lengthy maintained that Iran represents a menace to its existence and has focused the Islamic Republic’s brokers each inside and outside Iran, stymying its nuclear weapons program and killing its top scientists and operatives.

The Israelis are delicate to Iran’s presence in Syria. The assassination was the fourth assault this week towards Iranian forces in Syria attributed to Israel.

Mr. Saleh, 54, was killed in Ein al-Tina, Syria, according to SANA, the Syrian state information company. The city is immediately throughout the border from Majdal Shams, Israel, the Druse village by which he was born.

The 12 months of his start, 1967, coincided with Israel’s defeat of a coalition of Arab international locations and the occupation of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that spans the border.

He was arrested by Israeli intelligence brokers in 1985, together with different Druse from the occupied Golan villages, and convicted of terrorism.

“I’m not saying we are going to kill the Jews or drive them away,” he mentioned in a 2007 interview with The Guardian. “I simply wish to dwell on my land.”

After representing the Golan in Syria’s Parliament, he was appointed head of the nation’s Golan Workplace and an adviser to President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr. Saleh was praised by officers in Mr. Assad’s authorities, a regime that has brutalized its personal individuals, together with fuel assaults, for a lot of the previous decade.

Hussein Arnous, Syria’s prime minister, described Mr. Saleh’s assassination as a cowardly act. Hussam Edin Aala, the nation’s United Nations consultant, known as him “a man who devoted his life to defending the rights of his individuals within the occupied Syrian Golan.”


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