Israel on the Golan: An analysis
Two weeks ago Israel struck deep inside Syria to take out some Iranian sponsored sophisticated missile batteries. Two months earlier Israel hit arms shipments in the Golan Heights, quite surprisingly killing an Iranian general and other high ranking Israeli enemies, maybe Hezbollah, maybe Iranian, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Recently the IAF rocketed and killed four terrorists trying to plant a bomb on Israel’s border.
These strikes are publicized because anything Israel does in relation to its Arab neighbors is usually publicized. But, Israel is more or less lowballing its success. Rather it is sending the message of how much militancy it will allow on their Syrian border before they strike.
They continue to establish guidelines for both Sunni and Shia sides in that war. Israeli intelligence has a spidered spy system throughout the middle East which is particularly good in Syria. And, it knows where and what Iran, or Islamic State are doing almost as fast as they know it.
Israel continues to watch that conflict an interdicts when it is within its interests to do so. Its interests being solelythe protection of its citizens inside Israel. Always, they are careful not to upset the war balance that already exists on the ground between Shia and Sunni.
Ynet news reported recently, “Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are well aware of Israel’s red lines. As long as Israel sticks to its own rules and only carries out low-profile attacks that do not directly serve the interests of the anti-Assad rebel forces, they (Iran, Hezbollah and Syria) are prepared to swallow their pride”.
But, this situation will not go on indefinitely. It will eventually change. The shia factions led by Iran and the Sunni factions combined in the Islamic state both have an eye on destroying Israel. And, they will turn in that direction when the Syrian war ends.
If one had to choose which enemy is more dangerous, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran would probably win that role. Bashar Assad’s diminished role as leader of Syria can no longer hold to his policy of not stirking Israel in this environment giving over to Iran and its proxies control inside his own country.
Islamic State does not possess nearly the number of rockets that Hezbollah has in Lebanon and not nearly the sophistication of smart rocketry
In other words. Israel’s next northern war with Hezbollah will also be against Iran and Syria and the line of battle will be not only the Lebanese border but Syria’s as well.
Ynet news reported in a different article.“The working premise is that Hezbollah is armed from head to toe: From Scud-D missiles which cover every point in the country, through the accurate Fateh-110 missiles with the heavy warheads, the Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles which reach a range of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles) and can paralyze the Navy’s activity and hit strategic points (according to foreign reports, the IDF attacked such a shipment, but other reports indicated that not all missiles were destroyed), aerial defense systems, and of course a stock of some 130,000 rockets reaching different ranges, with an ability to fire 1,500 rockets a day.”
This is why Israel is working so aggressively to complete a missile defense which will cocoon the entire country from this sort of attack. Several systems, like Iron dome, each specific to a type of missile, are scheduled to deploy by early 2016. Check this out here
It’s an expensive proposition but how much are 6 million Jewish lives worth?
If the Shia’s win, there will be an Iranian force, either by proxy or actual Iranian troops all along the northern border in both Syria and Lebanon. Israel would be forced to neutralize any aggressive action which might be the match that lights this particular fire.
If the Islamic State and their allies defeat the Shia forces, which they might, the book is still out on that, they will move into Lebanon and expand their state to the Mediterranean coast. Therefore, they will then be free to assemble on Israel’s border launching terror attacks and military operations also forcing Israel to take major action to eliminate it.
Either way Israel must be prepared for what is coming. Never mind the failures of not eliminating Hezbollah when they had the chance in 2006, no sense in doing that now. Israel is facing an all out war on the scale of earlier wars of Israel.
Israel must also be prepared for coordination between Iran and the Palestinian territories, which could include a second and third smaller front from Gaza and the West bank.
If that happens Israel might not be without allies in the region. If it decides that it would be safer to have Egypt back in Gaza, the far stronger of the two Palestinian areas, it might ask Egypt to enter into its war by invading and taking control of Gaza. The way the Middle East sits right now, that would not be such a bad idea.
It would be an advantage to the Egyptian government to eliminate Hamas and the threat from its Sinai border. Replacing Hamas it could then apply for real aid from the world community to help build Gaza back up, and create livable territory for the now completely oppressed population.
A major conflagration for sure is coming. Israel is not taking any chances now. It watches its northern border very carefully and will continue to do so.
The only hope is that the Sunnis and Shias continue to kill each other in Syria with no victory for at least the next two years.
This will give Israel a chance to deploy the first completely effective comprehensive missile defense system in history. Marking a sea change in modern warfare, it will be the beginning of relegating missile warfare obsolete. And two, Barack Obama will be out of office. Israel cannot count on its best friend in the world at this time. It is really iffy if that particular administration will support Israel against Iran or its proxies on the Northern border in an all out war.
Israel is on its own. It will remain ready for any eventuality.
Please come to my website for more articles, analyses, op eds, historical perspectives, reviews and scholarly approaches to the MIddle East at hartnation.com