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FSA Commander Confesses to Collaboration with Israel in Video

12 March 2016 13:16



A Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander, arrested by the rival al-Nusra Front, told his captors he collaborated with Israel in return for medical and military support.

In a video uploaded to YouTube by the Executive Sharia Council in the Eastern Daraa region, a court established by al-Nusra in Southern Syria, Sharif As-Safouri, the commander of the FSA’s al-Haramein Battalion, admitted to having entered Israel five times to meet with Israeli officers who later provided him with Soviet anti-tank weapons and light arms, Times of Israel reported.

Safouri was abducted by the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front in the Quneitra area, near the Israeli border, on July 22.

“The [opposition] factions would receive support and send the injured in [to Israel] on condition that the Israeli fence area is secured. No person was allowed to come near the fence without prior coordination with Israel authorities,” Safouri said in the video.

While al-Nusra and the FSA have collaborated in the battlefield against Syria, friction has intensified as they began to implement their stringent version of Islam in the area, establishing local Sharia courts.

In the edited confession video, in which Safouri seems physically unharmed, he says that at first he met with an Israeli officer named Ashraf at the border and was given an Israeli cellular phone. He later met with another officer named Younis and with the two men’s commander, Abu Daoud. In total, Safouri said he entered Israel five times for meetings that took place in Tiberias.

Following the meetings, Israel began providing Safouri and his men with “basic medical support and clothes” as well as weapons, which included 30 Russian [rifles], 10 RPG launchers with 47 rockets, and 48,000 5.56 millimeter bullets.

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