The Syrian government rejected on Thursday the claims that they had any knowledge of Russia’s move to return the remains of Israeli soldier Zachary Baumel to Israel.
“Syria has no clue about the Israeli soldier’s remains” of an Israeli serviceman lost in a 1982 battle, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted a media source as saying on Thursday.
Instead, citing a source in Damascus, SANA said the return of the IDF soldier’s remains ‘proved’ that the Mossad (Israeli spy agency) and the terrorist groups that previously controlled the Yarmouk Camp District had worked together to find the grave.
It said that “what has happened is new evidence confirming cooperation between terrorist groups and Mossad.”
“There is not any information about the whole matter and whether there are remains or not,” the statement added.
A Syria-based official with the Damascus-backed Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command (PFLP-GC) said on Wednesday that insurgents who were previously in control of the Yarmouk Camp had excavated graves in search of the remains of the three missing soldiers. The group has made a similar claim in the past.
Once the militants agreed to surrender the camp, they allegedly informed the Russian military where the IDF soldier’s remains were located inside the Yarmouk Camp.
During a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow Thursday, Putin said Russian Army soldiers found the body “in coordination with the Syrian military,” despite Damascus’ denial.