Israel’s Growing Role in Southern Syria – Ehud Yaari (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
Israel is now providing a whole range of items, from medications to food, fuel, clothes, heaters, and more to Syrian villages along the Golan Heights frontier line.
A significant operation of this type indicates that a system of communications and frequent contacts has been established with the local rebel militias.
Israeli concerns have been aggravated by the emergence of al-Qaeda affiliates which have gained preeminence among rebel units in many parts of central and northern Syria.
Israel may feel obliged to take unpublicized measures aimed at slowing the movement of such fighters to territory south of Damascus.
The southern militias are often directed by civilian elders. Many of them have come to view Israel as a temporary ally under the present circumstances.
King Abdullah II of Jordan is no less worried about the possible appearance of numerous al-Qaeda militants along his border.
Accordingly, Amman is cultivating an array of local militias close to its long frontier with Syria, taking advantage of the fact that many inhabitants of southern Syria and northern Jordan belong to the same tribes.