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Middle East

Palestinian group to fight Syrian rebels in Golan

media Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad

An armed Palestinian group has formed special brigades to fight in the Golan Heights to undermine efforts to topple Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC) accuses Assad's opponents of being allies of Israel, the group's leader in the Palestinian Territories, Husam Arafat, told RFI.

The PFLP-GC, which is classed as a terrorist group by the US, the EU and Israel, has military and political branches throughout the Middle East, particularly Damascus.

While other Palestinian groups, including Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip, have distanced themselves from the Syrian regime, the PFLP-GC is  backing Assad.

“We believe that this regime is against Israel,"  says Arafat. "We put our positions always as whether someone is with or against our Palestinian case. This regime stands up with us, this regime supports the Palestinian people in Syria."

Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanese Shia-Muslim group, Hezbollah, has said that the Syrian regime and Hezbollah will incite “popular uprising” in the Golan in response to the purported Israeli attack on Damascus.

The PFLP-GC says it will form new brigades to assist this.

“Our role will be to fight these military groups which are on the border," Arafat explains, in a reference to Syrian opposition militias. "We are ready, and all our coalition [sic] are ready to put all our efforts alongside the Syrian regime. We think that if they win this war, Israel will be in Damascus, and in Beirut and in all the Arab countries.”

Groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, the Al Qaida-linked organisation that is fighting Assad, and the Free Syrian Army are supported by Israel, Arafat claims "because they gave Israel a promise that they will prevent Palestinian fighters and Hezbollah".

“We said that they are allies with Israel. They are part of Israel. We have a lot of evidence, I don’t have documents but all the information which comes to the Syrian regime and agencies in Syria, you should trust this information.”

If the hoped-for uprising takes place, Arafat believes that Damascus will act to support it.

"Rockets will be the main response," he says. "I don’t think that Syrian planes will take a role, especially in the first stage."

 

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