Report: Israel Warns Assad Not to Massacre Civilians in Southern Syria
Israel has reportedly cautioned Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad not to harm civilians living on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
According to Israel’s Channel Two, the message was conveyed to Assad by Russian officials, and included a warning that Israel was prepared to take action on the ground to prevent the potential slaughter of border area residents.
Assad’s forces, with support from Iran and Russia, have undertaken a major military operation to retake the southern territories near the border with Israel from rebel groups. The campaign is nearing its climax, and most of the rebel redoubts in the area have already been captured or been voluntarily surrendered.
Until now, Israel has observed a strict policy of non-interference in Syria’s seven-year civil war, in which approximately 500,000 people have been killed and millions displaced.
The Jewish state has limited itself to retaliating against any cross-border fire and aerial incursions, conducting air strikes on Iranian assets in Syria, and giving humanitarian aid to refugees and others who reach the border.
Recently, Israel participated in the successful evacuation of hundreds of members of the White Helmets emergency response group from Syria to Jordan.