For almost four decades, the Israeli-Syrian border has been Israel’s quietest border, a Jewish publication recently noted. Now, however, tensions are mounting rapidly and the prospect of a serious conflagration there is growing steadily.
“Bashar Assad vowed that Syria would retaliate against Israel for an airstrike on a weapons convoy in the Damascus area last month, which foreign news outlets attributed to the IDF,” reports Ynet News.
In my forthcoming novel, Damascus Countdown, Syria gets drawn in to a catastrophic war against Israel after a series of Israeli airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Fortunately, that’s fiction and we’re not there yet. But the trendlines in the Middle East look ominous at the moment.
- Netanyahu is urging Israeli political leaders to unite and form a new, broad-based coalition government in light of the very serious threats posed by Iran and Syria.
- Iran is accelerating its efforts to enrich uranium — and make plutonium — to build nuclear warheads.
- Syria is imploding and Israeli officials are preparing for the possibility of hostilities on their northeastern border.
- After a five month hiatus, an Israeli preemptive strike is once again being contemplated in Jerusalem.
- President Obama is preparing for a possible trip to Israel and the Middle East to keep a war from happening.
- But in Damascus, the Syrian President is warning that despite the implosion of his country, he is considering turning his military’s focus on Israel.
- What’s more, Assad refuses to say what he is doing with his country’s stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.
“Assad told the British newspaper Saturday night that Syria had always retaliated for Israeli actions, ‘but we retaliated in our own way, and only the Israelis know what we mean,'” reported Ynet. “In late January the Syrian army announced that ‘Israeli planes attacked a military research center in Damascus district.’ Other reports said the airstrike targeted a convoy carrying advanced SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles to Lebanon. A week later Defense Minister Ehud Barak said during a security conference in Munich, ‘What happened in Syria several days ago… that’s proof that when we say something we mean it. We say that we don’t think it should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon.'”
“During the interview, Assad refused to address reports that Syria was moving its chemical weapons stockpiles for fear they will be seized by rebel forces. He also denied reports that Russia, Hezbollah and Iran had sent soldiers to Syria, saying: ‘Russia has been very constructive, Iran has been very supportive and Hezbollah’s role is to defend Lebanon, not Syria. In the interview, the Syrian president warned of grave consequences if the West armed the rebels, directly or indirectly. ‘You know the crime is not only about the victim and the criminal but also the accomplice providing support, whether it is moral or logistical support,’ he said. ‘Syria lies at the fault line geographically, politically, socially and ideologically. So playing with this fault line will have serious repercussions all over the Middle East. Any intervention will not make things better. It will only make them worse. Europe and the United States and others are going to pay the price sooner or later with the instability in this region. They do not foresee it.'”
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