Between Israel and Iran … Assad in the bottleneck

Al-Quds Al-Arabi – June 14, 2018, issue 9215, p. 21

It is important for us as researchers and political observers to understand where the Middle East is generally going and monitor the evolution of the conflict between Israel and Iran particularly in Syria. Despite the refusal of many observers that the collision between Israel and Iran is going in the next phase, recent indicators in the Syrian arena confirm that the issue is only a matter of time.

Tel Aviv is aware that Iran’s influence within the Syrian territories places it in a state of constant fear and may lead to a change in the regional balance of power, where Tel Aviv is the most powerful and militarily influential. Therefore, the decision-makers in Tel Aviv will not allow things to get to the point that Israel is forced to make concessions in the region in general and on its land and sea borders.

Iran, led by the Shiite clergy, entered the stage of military and expansionist recovery with the fall of the Baath regime in Iraq at the beginning of the current millennium. Then the Iranian regime increased the level of military support for the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, from rockets with a range of not more than 40 km. to an arsenal of missiles with a range exceeding 150 kilometers in addition to the system of Russian-made sea-based missiles “Yakhont”.

With the start of the Syrian revolution, Iran increased its presence in the Syrian territories. Their presence, initially limited in two secret bases of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, one in the south of Halab and the other in the western part of Homs, expanded to more than 5,000 soldiers and officers in addition to tens of thousands of multi-national sectarian militias. But the influence of Iran did not stop at this point. The need of the Assad regime pushed it to bow and prostrate to provoke Iranian support resulting to the penetration of the Iranian lobby in many joints of the Syrian regime. In the economic sector most traders became Tehran’s people, and the Syrian army turned into a tool led by the Iranian orders before the Russian intervention and a big part still is after the Russian intervention.  The development of Shiism, which started with the beginning of the current millennium because of the failure of the Syrian social consciousness, returned strongly by exploiting the difficult physical conditions of the Syrian society.

As for the security services of the Assad regime, most of their leadership is the hands of Tehran, headed by the branches of air and military security, which are the strongest, most powerful and most criminal in Syria. Therefore, it is made clear for the reader the level of overlap between Iran and the regime of the dictator Assad and the difficulty of separation.

The Israeli relations with Assad father and son regime have been and still are stable. Israel’s leaders view his weak and shaky character suitable for them. Assad knows with certainty that Tel Aviv is capable of ending him at any time it wants. Tehran, of course, cannot protect him, and Moscow which he begged at the end of 2014 to protect him, still gives the green light to the Israeli warplanes to hit indiscriminately here and there. Therefore, the best option for him is to keep his head low.

In recent weeks, the Syrian territory has witnessed strong and expanded Israeli strikes that are different from its predecessors, which were confined to one or two locations like a weapons depot for transport to Hezbollah or an important Iranian or Lebanese military figure as targets. The latest strikes, which targeted more than 25 military sites belonging directly to the Quds Force in Syria confirm that the tension between Tehran and Tel Aviv has entered a new phase. Reports of many of the international intelligence centers confirmed that Israeli warplanes from the north of Tel Aviv reached the Iranian western border, which is a clear signal of preparation by Israel for strikes in the Iranian interior. Khamenei’s decision to reinstate uranium enrichment in my personal opinion is a spark for something bigger.

In the spring of last year, Israel was able to obtain nine highly advanced F-35 aircrafts capable of striking positions inside Iranian territory and returning without the need for refueling. The Israeli Ministry of Defense recently published details of the attack on the Syrian nuclear site in Bukamal in 2007, which for me is a clear message addressed to Tehran confirming that Tel Aviv is able to end the Iranian nuclear program by itself and with the least losses. But the most important question here is what would be the reaction of Iran if Tel Aviv carried out this step.

The Iranian-Israeli conflict began with the Iranian incursion into Lebanese territory during the civil war there, but by studying the details of Tehran’s control over the Iraqi decision-makers which is the door of the eastern Middle East, will undoubtedly make it clear that Israel did not mind it. The withdrawal of Tel Aviv from southern Lebanon, the creation of the July war that led to the placement of 10,000 international soldiers to protect northern Israel, and then the support by Iran of the survival of the dictator of the Muhajireen neighborhood in Syria with the green light of Israel and the US confirm that the Tehran plan of the Shiite crescent was only an Israeli plan to create a new enemy for Arab and Islamic societies and replace itself with Iran.

The line drawn by Netanyahu in his address to the UN General Assembly in 2015 is the endpoint of a tool that has wreaked havoc in the Middle East. This summer will be hot on Tehran and Assad’s rosy dreams will be overrun by the fate of Ali Abdullah Saleh from Iranian hands or the fate of Bosnia’s murderer from Russian hands.