Syria makes command changes to 1st Corps, others following Israeli threats

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The Syrian Arab Army has made changes to the leadership of the 1st Corps and its operations center in the southern part of the country, following threats to its leadership by the Israeli military.

The IDF has accused the SAA of helping Lebanon’s Hezbollah establish a permanent military presence on the Golan Heights. It has been dropping leaflets along the Israeli-Syrian border in recent weeks, warning the SAA’s 1st Corps not to work with the Iranian proxy group.

According to Lebanon’s Al Modon news website, the SAA has made changes to the division and brigade leadership after the leaflets dropped by Israel threatened them.

The report named Maj.-Gen. Ramadan Ramadan as incoming commander of the 1st Corps, replacing Lua’a Ali Ahmad Asa’ad.

In April the IDF released a short video showing a visit by Asa’ad to Hezbollah positions in the country. “We see you. Consider this a warning,” the IDF said in a tweet, releasing the footage.

Ramadan is “not qualified in terms of seniority and military rank” to be promoted to commander of the 1st Corps and did not occupy any previous command positions in it, Al Modon reported, quoting an opposition military source.

“It is clear that the only reason for appointing Maj.-Gen. Ramadan to his new position is his close ties to Hezbollah and Iran, as he is from the Shi’ite community and has been known since the beginning of the revolution to push the army into confronting it,” the source was quoted as saying.

Iran has “depended” on him since it entered the civil war on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the source said, adding that Ramadan “previously led an important part of the military operations in the southern and eastern countryside of Idlib.”

Other changes include the commanders of the 7th Division, 5th Division, 90th Brigade and 12th Brigade, among others.

Following the return of regime forces to the south of the country and the rebuilding of the SAA, which was decimated over the course of the ongoing civil war, the influence of Hezbollah and Iran on the army has increased dramatically.

Though Israel usually refrains from targeting terrorist operatives in an attempt to avoid retaliation, several strikes blamed on the IDF have killed Hezbollah operatives in southern Syria on the Golan Heights, where the group has been trying to establish a permanent military presence.

In addition to the 1st Corps, Hezbollah forces have been deployed to 28 locations as part of Southern Command, as well as to another 30 locations where there is a presence of cells operating under the Golan Project.
Southern Command, led by Munir Ali Na’im Shaiti, is the Hezbollah unit in charge of southern Syria. Its main function is to create a Hezbollah infrastructure in the area, gather intelligence on the IDF and train the 1st Corps for war with Israel.

Should Hezbollah decide to carry out an attack from the Golan Heights, the IDF believes it would use the 1st Corps, which has significant weaponry, logistics and manpower.

The Golan Project is under the command of Ali Mussa Daqduq and has headquarters in Damascus and Beirut. Some of the operatives have undergone training by Hezbollah in sabotage, sharpshooting and firing Grad rockets. The project has been accused of launching attacks against Israel.

Source: JPOST

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