The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has conducted numerous airstrikes in Syria since the civil war began. It continues to target Iranian troop concentrations, missile and weapons warehouses, and Iranian-led proxy militias, including Hezbollah.
The IAF has been pummeling the Iranians, and their proxies, with airstrikes that are exacting a heavy toll.
The Tehran regime never publicly admits to losses of troops. Nevertheless, the Iranian people are well aware of the human and financial costs — especially since cash is in short supply in the country. As a result, an increasingly negative sentiment has been developing in the country.
To minimize the effect of Israeli airstrikes, Iranian commanders are getting creative in trying to hide their troops, rockets, and missiles. They have begun storing and basing them in civilian residences and commercial buildings. To do that, they are buying, investing, and, in some cases, seizing abandoned property in the area bordering Israel, according to a recent post on the Strategy Page.
The Israelis, however, have outstanding intelligence and surveillance capabilities in Syria, which allow them to still identify targets. To undermine Israeli intelligence, the Iranians have reportedly been trying to buy the loyalty of the local Sunni population along the Israeli border. Among other measures, they have started floating loans to the Sunnis who are in the midst of a failing economy and facing hard times.
Although the locals are stuck in the middle, the Sunnis along the Israeli border have long detested the regime of Bashar Assad and its Iranian allies.
Besides the kinetic attacks, the Israelis are also using psychological operations (PSYOP) against the Syrian civilians and troops by conducting a leaflet campaign on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. The leaflets warn civilians to stay away from Iranian bases and to stop any cooperation with Iran’s troops and Hezbollah.
While most of the leaflets are directed toward civilians, some target Syrian military units. One such leaflet warned a Syrian unit to stop cooperating with Hezbollah and accused the unit’s commander of putting his and his troops’ lives in danger.
A Syrian opposition group shared one of the leaflets with Israel Hayom, an Israeli newspaper. The leaflet addressed the Syrian commander of the Syrian 112th Brigade, Basil Abu Eid.
“You are putting your life and the lives of your men at risk to serve the interests of Hezbollah in southern Syria. What is Hezbollah’s role in southern Syria? What are its achievements in training the region and the military? Does taking advantage of the difficult situation of residents to enlist them in carrying out acts of terror serve Syrian interests? Does using underground structures and military sites to carry out acts of terror serve Syrian interests?” the leaflet read.
“Hezbollah has brought destruction and instability to the region. You personally and the army, in general, will pay the price. Now is the time for Hezbollah to leave Syria. Now is the time for Hezbollah to leave the 112th Brigade.”
Another set of leaflets, which were dropped over the Golan, even identified the Israeli unit that dropped them, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) 210th Division. The unit guards the border between Israel and Syria along the Golan Heights.
“We will not allow anyone to upset the stability here,” the leaflets said.
“[We] will take action against Hezbollah and Iranian operatives at any time, as needed.”
The Israelis said that despite earlier warnings, the Syrians continue to cooperate with Hezbollah.
The Israelis have used leaflets before, warning Palestinian residents in Gaza to move away from Hamas positions before they conducted airstrikes against Hamas.