The Syrian government on Saturday accused Israel of assassinating a high-ranking Syrian Druze official responsible for overseeing the strategic Golan Heights boundary. The official, Midhat Saleh, had spent 12 years in an Israeli prison on terrorism charges before serving for decades in the Syrian government. He was shot and killed supposedly by a sniper outside his home in Ein al-Tina in Syria near the border with Israel.

According to a report by Israel’s Walla News, Saleh was believed to have been working for Iranian forces and plotting terrorist activities with Iranian senior officials along the border against Israel.

The Iranians are intent on getting a proxy militia force, run by its Quds Force, on the Israeli-Syrian border. These efforts involve taking over Syrian outposts in the Golan Heights area, gathering intelligence on targets across the border, deploying weapons systems that will be used to target Israel, and placing terrorist units in the Golan for cross-border operations.

An Israeli tank on the strategic Golan Heights overlooks the valley below. The area was seized by Israel during the 1967 war.

Israel has frequently stated that it will not tolerate an Iranian presence on its borders. It has conducted numerous airstrikes on Iranian troops, bases, weapons depots, and warehouses.