The IDF on Wednesday announced it had uncovered a Hezbollah terror network on the Syrian side of Golan Heights.
“The Hezbollah terrorist organization has begun an attempt to establish and entrench a covert force in the Syrian Golan Heights that is designed to act against Israel when given the order,” the IDF said in a statement.
“The network is new and currently focused on becoming familiarized with the Golan Heights area. It is intended to eventually control teams of Syrian operatives who will launch attacks against Israel,” the military added.
The network, called “The Golan File,” is currently in the preparation stages, namely stockpiling weapons, recruiting members and building secret military infrastructure, according to the IDF.
The military said the terror group might try to bring rockets, missiles and other weaponry into the area in the future, but is concerned that such munitions would be destroyed by Israeli strikes.
According to the IDF, the cell’s activities are focused on the border region across from Israel’s northern Golan Heights, between the abandoned city of Quneitra and the village of Arnah. Much of its infrastructure has been set up around the Druze village of Khader, an area that was hit recently by an artillery strike attributed to Israel.
The network includes dozens of operatives and is headed by Ali Mussa Daqduq, who joined Hezbollah in 1983 and served in a number of operational positions in southern Lebanon during the IDF presence in the area, as well as other parts of the Middle East.
In Iraq, Daqduq, also known as Abu Hussein Sajid, was imprisoned by American forces after an operation he commanded led to the kidnapping and execution of five American soldiers. An Iraqi court cleared him of the charges, citing a lack of evidence.
Last summer, Daqduq was sent by Hezbollah to Syria to establish the “Golan file.”
According to Israeli intelligence officials, Daqduq's unit has been so heavily compartmentalized that even the Assad regime in Syria, and even many elements within Hezbollah itself, were unaware of its existence.
The IDF hopes that exposing the unit’s existence will lead the Syrian regime to terminate its activities in Syria.