Top Iranian Commander Inspects Israel-Syria Border During Mysterious Visit

First time Iranian regime officially acknowledges such a trip by top official

A top Iranian general recently visited the Israeli-Syrian border to tour a city on Israel’s doorstep, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported Wednesday, marking the first time the government has publicized a visit by a senior regime official to the area.

General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of the Basij paramilitary force, a massive volunteer organization under the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that performs domestic security functions, traveled to the city of Quneitra in southwest Syria. He also inspected the demarcation line dividing the Golan Heights, a strategic rocky plateau by the border that Israel has controlled since the 1967 Six Day War.

The Fars report did not provide further details on the purpose of the trip or when it took place, only saying the visit occurred “recently.” The Basij’s official news agency first reported the story early on Wednesday and released photos of Naqdi looking through binoculars. Regional media outlets noted that the general’s visit marks the first time that Tehran has acknowledged such a trip by a senior Iranian official near the Israeli-Syrian border.

Iran and its proxy Lebanese Hezbollah are heavily invested in Syria, fighting alongside Syrian forces to keep Assad in power against rebel forces, some of which are backed by the United States.

High-ranking Hezbollah commanders have been killed near Qunetira during the Syrian civil war. One Iranian general, Mohammed Ali Allahdadi, was killed in January 2015 by an airstrike along with several other Iranians and six Hezbollah soldiers. Allahdadi was visiting the area to set up missile bases in Syria near the border with Israel to target the Jewish state.

Israeli officials are concerned that Iran and Hezbollah will use the fighting in Syria as a way to set up a new front against Israel in the southern part of the country, and Naqdi’s visit could raise concerns that Tehran is trying again to set up military posts near Quneitra.

Full article: Top Iranian Commander Inspects Israel-Syria Border During Mysterious Visit (Washington Free Beacon)

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