Israeli DM: We’re Aiding Syrian Rebels to Keep al-Qaeda Away From Border

Insists Israel Backing FSA Along Golan Frontier

In a broad-reaching interview with Haaretz that included considerable insight into internal political faction fighting in the coalition government, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon sought to push forward an extremely simple narrative of the situation on the Golan Heights frontier.

Ya’alon tried to present the situation as unstable but mostly under control from the Israeli perspective, claiming Israel was openly backing the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other “moderate” factions to keep al-Qaeda off the border.

Yet Ya’alon presented this as a working model for keeping al-Qaeda from having a common border with Israeli occupied Golan, which hasn’t been the case for over a month, with al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra controlling much of the territory.

The indications are that Israel has been backing all comers for awhile now on the Golan frontier, as part of their decision to favor anyone over Assad. The narrative now is that they’re trying to prop up the FSA, but Israel’s Syria problem is actually looking a lot like everyone else’s in the region: they backed rebellion in general, and are now facing the consequences of the instability they’ve backed.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.