Immediate Intelligence Bulletin
Date Report Published: March 19,2017
Information: Senior Syrian or Hezbollah Military Commander Reportedly killed in Israeli air strike in the Golan Heights
Date of event: March 19, 2017
Date information received: March 19, 2017
Information Platform: Varied
Information Platform Evaluation: Unknown
Source Evaluation: Unknown
Spring Evaluation: Unknown
Information disclosed: Arab platforms of information report that an Israeli air strike in the Golan Heights on March 19th 2017 killed a Syrian named Yaser Mohammed Al-Sayid, identified by some Arab sources as high-ranking officer. According to one source, he was the commander of the Syrian Army’s Anti-Air Defense Force.
Other sources argue the person is a senior commander within Lebanese Hezbollah organization.
Reportedly, the person was killed by a high-precision missile hitting his car on the road next to the Syrian town of Khan Al-Arnabeh, located in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, about 2 miles from the Israeli-Syrian cease-fire line.
Syrian formal platforms of information regarding the event have as of now identified the man killed as a “civilian”.
Assessment of information: As of the time the report is being written the information regarding the person’s exact identity is not confirmed.
Analysis: On March 18th 2017 Israeli air force attacked in Syria a convoy carrying – according to reports – long range Scud Missiles that allegedly were to be delivered to Lebanese Hezbollah organization.
Following the attack, Syrian Anti-Air Defense Force launched an anti-air surface to air missile. The missile was successfully intercepted by the Israeli Arrow Missile, though Syria argued it shot down an Israeli jet.
If the report regarding the Syrian commander being killed is accurate, and though Israel did not – and probably will not – claim responsibility for the event- one can regard that event as an Israeli signal to Bashar Al-Assad that Israel has both outstanding intelligence and operational capacities to cause very painful damage to Assad’s rule.
Also, assuming it was an Israeli attack, one should view that event in the context of the clear messages Israel has sent more than once to Assad and Iran: the Golan Heights is off limits. (on that matter read for example my recent report “A Prediction Materialized: Iranian Proxy Vows to Liberate the Occupied Golan Heights” published on March 14th, 2017) as well as earlier reports I have published on that matter.
Prediction: The fact that Syrian formal platforms have identified the person allegedly killed as a “civilian” may indicate that the Syrian regime will contain the outcomes of the event and refrain from retaliation.
Another reason which may support the prediction that if it is a Syrian officer, Syria will refrain from retaliating is the fact that the Syrian army and its allies are heavily engaged in fights against Syrian rebels in Damascus, thus will prefer to avoid retaliation against Israel that may result in a possible deterioration in the Golan Heights.
As of the time this report is being written, no comment has been made by Hezbollah.
A formal Acknowledgment of Hezbollah – should it take place – that the person killed was indeed a Hezbollah Senior Military Commander – will likely indicate a possible retaliation of Hezbollah against Israel.
Such a retaliation could take place in a short or mid-term period of time.
Thus, Hezbollah’s formal position regarding the event should be closely monitored over the next hours.
End of Intelligence Bulletin