Monday, May 6, 2013

Israel bombs Syria (Analysis)

 Some thoughts on Syria re-Israel air strikes.

1) The Israelis are enforcing their red lines against Assad - that transmission of advanced materiel to Hezbollah will not be tolerated. The Israeli concern is that Hezbollah is using the chaos of the Syrian civil war to transport significant supplies to their base of operation in Lebanon. Hezbollah also (rightly) fears that Assad's fall will dry up this crucial supply line.

2) The Israelis have made the decision that speeding Assad's withdrawal from power is preferable to the risks of escalation. This is a major strategic development on Israel's part - It illustrates that the Israelis are unafraid to anger the Obama Administration (which apparently was not warned in advance) and that Israel no longer believes the Assad regime can survive in a way that is viable for Israeli national security interests (for a time, the Israeli Govt. was unsure as to whether Assad's fall would be a good or bad thing re- what would follow).

3) The Israelis are attempting to send a unequivocal message to Iran in regards to previously stated red lines over the Ayatollah's nuclear program (see here). Indeed, the Israelis previously bombed a Syrian nuclear facility. Essentially, the Israelis are transmitting this message - ''Unlike the US, our red lines mean something.'' As I recently wrote, under Obama, US red lines have become a sick joke. The US is likely to conduct some measure of new intervention in the coming weeks.

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