Iranian General’s Morning Jog Led to Kidnapping, Trip to South Africa

Israel hoped he'd have some information on Ron Arad

Israel’s operations in Syria are mostly seen in the form of stray airstrikes. It became a lot more hands-on when Mossad agents saw an unnamed Iranian general taking his morning jog.

Operating under the impression that the general was likely to know something, they was kidnapped him off the streets of Damascus and took him to Israel for interrogation. Israeli officials were hoping to find out info on missing airman Ron Arad,  who was lost in Lebanon in 1986.

After intense interrogation, Israel figured out the general didn’t know anything, so they took him to Johannesburg, South Africa and ditched him on the street. They left him a phone number for the Iranian Embassy.

Arad is believed to have died as far back as 1988. Saudi media reported Israel had recently taken DNA from a corpse in Lebanon to test it, but the results have not been made public.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of