by Vince Dhimos
I answered a question on Quora. (https://www.quora.com/Is-Syria-still-a-threat-to-Israel/answer/Vince-Dhimos?)
Is Syria still a threat to Israel?
In order to understand the situation between Syria and Israel, it is good to look at sources from the West, from the Muslim Middle East and from Israel, but it is also good to look at Russian sources. Each region has its bias, so reading only Western news will not do. Much of my analysis below is based on reading Russian and Middle East sources. One is from an Israeli newspaper.
First of all, the querier asks whether Syria is still a threat to Israel, which begs the question: when was it ever a threat before?
Previously, Syria had occupied Lebanon as a peace keeping force, starting in 1976. Later, this occupation was legitimized under a bilateral “Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination” signed between Syria and Lebanon. So where does Israel come in?
Ok, in 2005, Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri was assassinated in a messy terror attack that killed 21 others in Beirut. Absurdly, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was immediately fingered as the plotter behind the attack. I say absurdly because Assad clearly had no motive to kill Rafic, who had been a friend of Bashar’s father Hafez. No Muslim leader would sully the memory of his own father. Further, if you do a web search for assassinations attributed to Assad, you find exactly nothing. Assassination was not part of Assad’s MO. After all, he was a medical doctor by education.
On the other hand, if you do a web search for Mossad assassinations, you will come up with this very impressive list:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_assassinations, which enumerates assassinations by decade, starting in the 1950s. And if you browse through the list, you see that a lot of them were messy ones in which a lot of bystanders got killed and hurt.
But what would have been Israel’s motive?
That is disarmingly easy. In 2006, the year after Syrian troops were expelled from Lebanon based on the UN “investigation,” Israel bombed Lebanon into the Stone Age following an attack by Hezbollah. The entire West, thanks to an investigation meddled-with by war criminal John Bolton, was enjoined by Israel to blame it all on Hezbollah, but truly independent analysts showed why this was very unlikely.
Due to the assassination and the absurd conclusion of a UN investigation that, while inconclusive, claimed Assad was the likely plotter behind the killing. An article in The Guardian showed the likelihood that Israel was in fact the culprit:
Another article shows that Hezbollah accused the US and Israel of plotting the attack: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/07/201172183540290278.html
And a Voltairenet interview with an independent investigative journalist Jürgen Cain Külbel corroborates the above accusation.
https://www.voltairenet.org/article143460.html. I recommend taking the time to read the entire interview with Külbel, who wrote a book based on his investigation. Here is a quote from the interview:
“It is also unforgivable to forget the liaison between the impudent John Bolton, U.S. ambassador at the United Nations [appointed by GW Bush], and Serge Brammertz [the UN investigator named under pressure from the US]! Bolton, who once wanted the clone of Mr. Mehlis as his successor, and got it in Brammertz, has been up to now extremely pleased with the performance of the Belgian. The alarm bells should ring here because Bolton, one of the most important war criminals living, is someone who played a major role in faking the evidence for the Iraq war.”
But getting back to the 2006 savage Israeli attack on Lebanon and how it came about after Assad’s troops were conveniently removed as a result of the assassination:
“American and European officials blamed Hezbollah for the escalating violence. They cited Hezbollah’s capture of Israeli soldiers (who some reports said were inside Lebanon) but conveniently forgot that Israel had been holding Lebanese prisoners for years. They condemned Hezbollah for firing rockets at Israeli cities, but made no mention of Israel’s bombing of Gaza that had long preceded those attacks. As of July 28, 600 Lebanese civilians and 19 Israeli civilians had been killed. On July 27 alone, Israeli forces killed 23 Palestinians in Gaza.” https://www.wrmea.org/006-september-october/the-real-reason-for-israels-wars-on-gaza-and-lebanon.html
In other words, by 2005, Israel was primed and ready to do genocidal bombing in Lebanon. The first step was accomplished in 2005 when Assad was blamed for the killing of Rafic Hariri and consequently, Syria was expelled from Lebanon. This was vital to Israel because Syrian troops were excellent and could have caused great damage to Israel.
I assume that the reader and the Quora questioner are somewhat familiar with Western sources on the Iran-US stalemate. I therefore recommend this long analysis (https://www.tv7israelnews.com/the-logic-of-israels-actions-to-contain-iran-in-syria-and/) from an Israeli source, TV 7 News, written by an Israeli military analyst.
This article will give us an understanding of how Israel is pushing to contain Iran, how far Israel expects to take its provocation and the forces it believes it will face. Why Iran? Because the perceived threat from Syria from an Israeli standpoint is the presence of Iranian forces in Syria.
This article makes it clear that Israel is willing to go to war with Iran and that Trump’s belligerence toward Iran has nothing to do with US interests. He is, and has been, at least since his campaign, a proxy for Israel:
“Israel’s opposition to Iranian entrenchment in Syria and Lebanon is twofold: To prevent Iran from building a beachhead against Israel through its proxies on Israel’s borders, and to impede development of Iran’s nuclear and long-range missile capabilities. Israel is absolutely determined and prepared to act forcefully against Iran, which could lead to a full-scale war. Israel must win this struggle against Iran, one way or another.”
QUOTE (this is why it is important to read Israeli sources. The following statement by the same analyst as above is incredibly brash and cheeky for an Israeli source because it actually admits Israel is pushing the US to wage another war in the Middle East—something Americans already strongly suspect. And you may recall that Netanyahu had pushed hard for the US to invade Iraq – and got his wish. Remember this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_PDpwL8kuY)
“On the diplomatic front, the challenge to Israel is twofold. First it must secure the freedom of action it needs to operate in Syria despite the presence of Russian forces, be they independent or part of the Syrian Army’s advisory network. Simultaneously, and without undermining the first element, Israel must enlist a reluctant US to take an active part in operations alongside it, and not only as a supportive observer from the sidelines.” [BTW, Israel has a history of "enlisting a reluctant US" to support its wars based on false flags, and I daresay the attacks on Saudi oil vessels have all the earmarks of such a false flag.]
Finally, for the weak of heart, there is hope. Though this Israeli analyst admits Israel is eyeing still another major war in the Middle East and openly expresses Israel’s hopes to drag the US into it, he does not attempt an analysis of what Russia might do in the event the US attacks Syria in tandem with Israel, and what the US would expect from such an attack. But that is precisely what is wrong with his sophomoric analysis.
While it may not be clear what Russia would do, it is rather clear what the US would expect it to do in such a doomsday scenario, and if the analyst knew that, he would have shelved his article and played golf instead.
Here’s how we can know what the US would expect.
In 2018, when Trump announced his upcoming plan to fire missiles into government-controlled parts of Syria in retaliation for a “chemical weapons” attack by Assad that turned out never to have happened, the Russian Defence Ministry said “ok, go ahead and have your little fireworks show, but just in case you should hit any Russia installations or personnel, we reserve the right to destroy the platforms whence the missiles came.” Tellingly, Trump did not have one of his usual brassy Twitter come-backs for this. After all, this was in March, the month after Putin’s show and tell presentation to the General Assembly of the new hypersonic missiles and other wonder weapons that put the fear of the Lord into the US war Establishment. Trump knew what the Russians could do and he knew if a US naval asset went down to the floor of the Mediterranean, he probably would lose the election in 2020.
This is also certainly why Trump did not make good his bluff to invade Venezuela, with all those Russian assets sitting around down there.
So now, can you realistically expect Trump to join Israel in a war in Syria to destroy Iranian assets, with at least 120,000 long range missiles sitting in an underground tunnel in Iran just waiting for their next flight to Tel Aviv—along with an unspecified number of such missiles in the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon? No, you can’t.
But will Israel enter a war on Iran without help from the US?
It depends on what “must” means in that last quote above.
Here is another look at that quote:
Simultaneously, and without undermining the first element, Israel must enlist a reluctant US to take an active part in operations alongside it, and not only as a supportive observer from the sidelines.”
See why it is good to read what the other side has to say?
Now we have a pretty good idea whether to expect a war or just a lot of shooting from the mouth.