Israel Arming at Least Seven Syrian Rebel Groups
Sunni Islamist groups find themselves on Israel's good side
Israel’s mounting interest in Syria’s War, and in particular in picking fights with the Assad government, Iran, and any other Shi’ite factions in the country, have included reports by analysts of a growing amount of Israeli arms and ammunition flowing across the border for rebels.
Officially, Israel isn’t a big fan on Sunni Islamist organizations. Such groups are the bulk of the rebellion on the Golan frontier, and that’s made them groups Israel has a very serious interest in seeing survive and thrive on the border.
Analysts say Israel is directly arming at least seven groups in the area. To be clear, no specific factions are named in any of these reports, but past reports have put Israel on the side of some very unfashionable groups, like al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which have been active in the area for some time.
Israeli officials have been very public in the past saying they prefer ISIS over the Alawite government in Syria. Expressing such a preference and arming terrorists are two different things, and Israel’s effort to step up arming for Islamist groups risks regional blowback.