Why Iran and Israel may be on the verge of conflict — in Syria

Introduction — June 28, 2017

Israelis sit on a hill to watch the Tel Aviv regime’s airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip, July 2014. Click to enlarge

War as a spectator sport: Israelis sit on a hill to watch IDF airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip, July 2014. Click to enlarge

It’s worth bearing in mind as you read the following that it was probably written by career journalist with an eye on pleasing his editors. So what he refers as “Sunni militants” in and around Quneitra, others refer to as the Western-backed Free Syrian Army.
That’s the same “Free Syrian Army” who have been repeatedly linked with Al Qaeda terrorists.
As a result the following article terms Israeli fire support for opposition groups fighting in the area as “IDF surgical strikes”. It sounds a little more precise than Israeli bombing and air support for “Takfiri terrorist groups”, which is how Iran’s Press TV puts it.
However, no matter how you phrase it nothing can disguise the fact that Israel is moving closer to direct confrontation with Iran and its proxies.

Why Iran and Israel may be on the verge of conflict — in Syria

Benny Avni — New York Post June 27, 2017

Some Israelis like to go to the Golan, where from the safety of a ramp overlooking the valley below, they can watch — no binoculars needed — the most consequential regional event of the age: the Syrian civil war.

This week, however, the Israel Defense Forces closed the area for visitors, letting in only the local farmers who worried about missing the cherry harvest.

That’s because for three days in a row, mortar shells flew across the border onto the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan, putting war gawkers at too much risk.

Most likely, the shells overflew their real target: one of the sides in the increasingly heated battle in an area around Quneitra, a town divided between Israel and Syria. Various Sunni militias are entrenched in the area, and Syrian forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad are trying to clear them out.

Control of the road between Quneitra and Dara to the south (where the uprising against Assad started six years ago) is key for the Syrian army — and even more so for its patrons in Tehran. By capturing this road, and the area east of Israel and north of Jordan, they can establish a land corridor from Iran, through Iraq, to Damascus and Syria’s neighbor, Lebanon.

Throw in Yemen, and Iran’s dream of a “Shiite crescent” that would make it the Mideast’s dominant force comes true.

The Syria war is complex, involving many powers pulling in all directions. But Iran and its allied militias — Shiite Iraqis, foreigners from Afghanistan and elsewhere, Hezbollah, Assad’s army — have emerged as a chief worry for policymakers in Riyadh, Amman and Jerusalem.

True, Israel knows how to handle spillover from war on its border. IDF surgical strikes hit Syrian army targets over the past few days, which was enough to at least pause the cross-border seepage of fire into the Golan.

The larger concern for Israeli policymakers here is that Iran and its allied militias, already in control of south Lebanon, are trying to cement a beachhead in Syria.

And that’s exactly what’s happening. “Iran is attempting to use the civil war to establish air force and naval bases in Syria,” Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio this week.

It’s not just Syria. IDF intelligence chief Herzi Halevi said Iran is also building arms factories in Lebanon, a country now dominated by its local proxy, Hezbollah. The mullahs, he said, similarly use Yemeni proxies, the Houthis, to manufacture weapons in that strategically located country next door to Saudi Arabia.

So where’s America in all this?

The Obama administration considered Iran an ally in the fight against ISIS. That, and the nuclear deal that filled the mullahs’ coffers with cash, worried the Saudis so much that they quietly turned to Israel as an ally to confront Tehran.

And not only Saudis. Ha’aretz reports Jordan and Israel have tightened intelligence cooperation in recent weeks to better address the growing Iranian threat on Syrian territory near both countries’ borders.

US forces are reportedly also operating there in growing numbers. Better yet, President Trump has made clear his predecessor’s romance with Tehran was just a fling. The administration has been warning Iran to watch its step as it stomps around the Middle East.

That may have been behind the seemingly-out-of-the-blue White House announcement Monday, confirmed by the Pentagon Tuesday, that it’s detected signs Syria is preparing a new chemical attack. Trump officials warned Assad would pay a “heavy price” for using chemical weapons again.

Yet, widely reported internal fights among administration bigwigs over America’s involvement in the Syria war could hamstring the united anti-Iran front that Sunni allies are hoping for. Washington’s bickering over Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, an Iran ally, isn’t helping either.

According to a Fox News report, Trump is quietly organizing a regional conference, inviting Sunni allies and perhaps even Israel. If so, good — but administration officials will surely hear a lot about the need for America to take a clear stand against Iran’s expansion.

The region is on edge. A victory over ISIS seems close now, but if Iran emerges on top, a wider and more vicious war may ensue, with dire consequences for everyone, including America.

For Israelis, meanwhile, such an outcome could be much scarier than what happened this week to a few Golan tourists that temporarily lost a front-row seat for watching the war below.

Source



Israel Attacks Syria As Assad Forces Close In For Kill On ISIS HQ

Israel has launched several unprovoked air raids and bombings against Syrian army positions over the past few days in a blatant attempt to disrupt the Syrian government’s lightning advance on the ISIS capital Raqqa.
At the same time, the Jewish Lobby’s puppet governments in the US and the UK have announced that they will also attack Syria, using the patently false claim that the Assad government is “preparing another chemical attack.”
As Press TV pointed out, the Israeli attacks were supposedly in response to rockets fired from Syria into Israel—but the reality is that the rocket fire came from Syrian “rebel” factions, supported by Israel and America, and had nothing to do with the Syrian government.
Nonetheless, the Jewish state “retaliated” against the Syrian government for the attacks. As former American Intelligence Linguist Scott Rickard told Press TV, “Israel has illegally attacked Syria numerous times before,” and noted that ll such instances of aggression against the Syrian territory, including the latest attacks, clearly amount to “an act of war.”
“The Israelis have bombed targets inside Syria over and over again dozens of times. So, we have tremendous amounts of act of war against Syria, by not only the United States, but coalition and Israel dozens of times. They have attacked with airplanes flying over Syrian territory bombing Syria. So, this is a serious act of war,” he said.
Rickard added that the Tel Aviv regime attacks Syrian government forces every time they try to crush the militants who cross the Golan border to be aided and abetted by the Israelis.
The militants, who are fighting against Syrian army forces, are “seeking refuge” in the occupied parts of the Golan Heights, he said, adding the projectiles land in Israeli-occupied territories accidentally, but the Israelis use this as an excuse to hit Syrian military forces. He also said that Israel is among the key players that have brought death and destruction to Syria for more than six years.
The Israeli attacks are clearly timed to cause maximum disruption to the Syrian government’s dramatic advance to the ISIS capital, Raqqa.
The AMN news service reported that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had launched a new offensive in northern Syria targeting the Islamic State’s (ISIL) last positions along the Raqqa-Aleppo axis.
Led by their elite Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army stormed a number of villages in western Al-Raqqa, striking the Islamic State’s weak defenses from the northern flank.
According to a military source from the Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army liberated more than 15 villages in the Al-Raqqa Governorate after a fierce battle with the Islamic State.
As a result of the advance, the Syrian Arab Army has reached parts of the Al-Raqqa Governorate that they have not seen since their withdrawal from the area in early 2013.
The Israeli attacks on the Syrian army are clearly not proving effective at halting the Syrian army advance, so the US government has announced that it will attack because the Syrian government is “preparing another chemical attack.”
This far-fetched claim—just the latest in a long series of lies which have emanated from both the Obama and Trump White House—was quickly endorsed by the British government, which expressed its support for any attack on the Syrian government as well.
Currently, the Syrian Arab Army fronts on the Raqqa/Ithriya Road are only 12 miles from each other, and if the push continues, it is likely that the Syrian government will soon lay siege to Raqqa.
The fall of the ISIS capital will effectively put an end to the ISIS Caliphate—and it is this development which Israel and its puppet regimes in the west seek to prevent.
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How Mossad Kills Iranian Scientists Pt.1 of 3 [English]

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