Yesterday the Lebanese government claimed that Israeli drones had attempted an attack on Beirut. More credibly, there have been reports—as yet unconfirmed by Jerusalem—that the IDF struck a military installation along the Syria-Lebanon border belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC). These attacks were likely an attempt to thwart Hizballah retaliation for Sunday’s air-strikes near Damascus. Sunniva Rose explains the PFLP–GC’s origin, and the threat the organization poses:
A pro-Syrian militant group, the PFLP-GC was formed in 1968 by Ahmad Jibril. . . . In 1965, Syrian intelligence had helped [Jibril] establish the armed Marxist-Leninist group [now known simply as the] Palestinian Liberation Front. Jibril entered negotiations to be part of the unified PFLP but withdrew before it was officially created in 1967 and established the PFLP-GC.
In its five-decade history, the PFLP-GC developed a name as a troublemaker in Lebanon and Syria. . . . The militants entered the 1975 Lebanese civil war—which raged for fifteen years—on the side of the Syrians, gaining notoriety for looting gold from banks in central Beirut. . . . Unlike the PLO, the PFLP-GC does not recognize any peace agreement with Israel.
After Lebanon’s civil war ended in 1990, the PFLP-GC was one of only two Palestinian factions to refuse to disarm. . . . The PFLP-GC has also fought alongside Syrian regime forces since the start of [that country’s] civil war.