An ISIS-affiliated terror group located about nine miles from the Israeli-Syrian border may be planning large-scale terror attacks in Israel, the IDF warned on Wednesday.
The group, composed of about 600 fighters, is small but violent, said the IDF, and it has established itself just north of the Israeli border in the Syrian Golan. Called the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, the terrorist organization is affiliated with the Islamic State and possesses a large arsenal of weapons, including anti-tank missiles, car bombs, machine guns, tanks, and APCs.
The warnings came after IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot toured the Galilee and the Golan Heights with Northern Command Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi on Wednesday to get a better understanding of the terror threats facing Israel in the north.
Various rebel organizations in the Syrian Golan have controlled around 90 percent of the strip of land along the Syrian-Israeli border for about a year. The Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade has taken over significant amounts of territory in the area, controlling a population of nearly 40,000 Syrian civilians, according to the IDF.
The IDF’s Northern Command said that the group may be planning terror attacks against Israel which could include sending a car packed with explosives through the border, planting explosive devices along the border fence, or firing anti-tank missiles and rockets at Israeli vehicles and citizens.
Though it does not believe that an attack is imminent, the IDF has increased security along the border by building additional blocks, stationing armored units in the area, and setting up additional security cameras.
In 2013, a Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade spokesman said that the group was only in Syria to fight the forces of Bashar Assad, and was not interested in targeting Israel. “There is nothing between us and Israel. We only have demands of Assad, even after the war,” said the spokesman.
However, since then, the group has allied itself with ISIS, whose leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, last week directly threatened Israel with terror attacks for the first time, saying that Palestine will “be a graveyard” for Jews.