Is War Coming Between Israel and Syria?

With Israel’s strike on a military convoy deep in Syrian territory near Palmyra and Syria’s missile response at the attacking aircraft afterwards, there is a sense that something has changed. The strike was the farthest the IAF has traveled since Russia entered the Syrian conflict two years ago.  Syria’s response was also out of the ordinary.  None of this was lost on Russia’s Putin who summoned the Israeli ambassador to Russia over Israel’s unusual admittance of the strike.

Netanyahu said in footage aired on Israel’s major television networks: “When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it.

“That’s how it was yesterday and that’s how we shall continue to act,” he added.

“We are fully determined and the evidence of that it that we are acting. Everybody must take that into account — everybody.”

The Times of Israel reported the following:

Assaf Orion, senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, said Syria’s response was a “significant” shift.

Until now, he said, when Israel attacked Hezbollah convoys there, it “usually went without a response or with an insignificant response from the Syrian side.”

“[With this attack] the Syrian regime is trying to tell Israel it can’t stand it any more and those actions will not be free of charge.”

President Bashar Assad’s position has been strengthened in recent months with his forces reclaiming all of Syria’s second city Aleppo, as well as enjoying continuing Russian support.

Orion said the Syrian leader was feeling emboldened.

“He is saying: ‘Don’t push me. I am not as weak as I used to be.’”

What’s Next?

With war talk increasing between North Korea and the USA as well as the early euphoria of a potential detente between America and Russia now seemingly having melted away, there is an increased likelihood of a regional war connected to the rising tension between North Korea and America as well as NATO digging in its heels in Eastern Europe.  Hezbollah, Syria, and even Iran are clearly preparing for open conflict with Israel.  Up until now Russia has tried to keep the sides from attacking one another with giving tacit nods to Israel’s need to stop arms transfers to Hezbollah, but the latest attack being so far in Syria’s territory might have tripped up agreements Bibi had cemented with Putin. Putin sees that Israel’s attacks, however warranted, are getting in the way of his ability to strengthen his position in Syria.

With cold war style alliances once again becoming the norm the risk of war has never been greater. The question now does not seem “if,” but rather “when.”