A Golan buffer zone goes operational

In my submission yesterday, Iran: America’s alliance flavor of the month, I suggested Israel consider a buffer zone between the Golan and Syria. Last night Debka described such an operation unfolding as I write. Following an exchange of comments between my sole commenter, Jan Burton and myself I provide an excerpt from Debka, and a link to the full article.

Jan Burton: 

With the exception of the de-facto US alliance with Iran when it comes to supporting the Shiite regime in Baghdad, the two countries cannot be called allies nor are they likely to be.


The current US approach to Iran is all about avoiding another Mid East war, simple as that. The US has no stomach for conflict and so negotiations are the only way to go.


Blame the warmongers in the US (and their Israeli allies) for expending all military credit on futile wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The public still tolerated casualty-free bombing in Libya, but only if Europe quickly took the lead. But bombing Iran will be no such conflict and everyone knows it. So it won’t happen.”

David Turner:

Substantial agreement, Jan. One error of fact regarding your statement, “the warmongers in the US (and their Israeli allies) for expending all military credit on futile wars in Iraq…” Afghanistan is outside Israel’s immediate area of concern. But regarding Iraq, Israel (and the Saudis for the same reason) argued against overthrowing the Baathist regime in that Shi’a majority country bordering Iran. They and Mubarak feared the obvious, that eliminating the Iraqi barrier would provide Iran an ally on the Peninsula and freedom to destabilize the region. The three (plus other local governments) were also aware of the blossoming nuclear threat and suggested if Bush wanted war, make it Iran and not Iraq!


“But [Jan writes] bombing Iran will be no such conflict and everyone knows it.”


This, in my opinion for what its worth, is not just “avoidance of conflict,” but criminal avoidance of conflict. Iran has been developing its nuclear weapons program for years, most intensively since Bush invaded Iraq. Benign neglect encouraged Iran. American avoidance got us here. And “here” is the Saudis reserving several nukes in Pakistan as first “deterrent” the Iranian bomb. And, should Iran actually go public as a nuclear power, the region will embark on a nuclear arms race with fairly obvious consequences.


This happened and is happening under the nose of the United States, obligated by Memoranda of Agreement with Israel and the Saudis dating back to the 1950’s.


So it won’t happen,” over here (US)! How’s that for responsibility and morality, Jan? How’s that for the credibility and future deterrence of the fading “superpower?”

Last night the following report appeared on Debka. It describes a joint US-Jordan-Israel plan to create a cordone sanitaire (buffer zone) approximately 100 km long (63 miles) and varying depth averaging roughly 40 miles wide separating Jordan and Israel from both al-Quaeda and the Syrian Army. It would be manned by “Mostly local militias.” I provide an excerpt below. The article is available by attached hyperlink.

US and Israeli buffer zones under Syrian rebel control designed to contain al-Qaeda advances:Two security sectors are taking form in South Syria. One enclave, 45 km long and 75 km wide in the south west, is wedged between the Jordanian and Israeli borders. The difficulty is its situation on the edge of Druze country, where 180,000 tribesmen living in 120 scattered villages, have taken care to stay out of the Syrian civil conflict and held back from acting against the Assad regime – thus far. But initial Al Qaeda encroachments on their territory may have persuaded Druze leaders to get off the fence.

If they do decide to throw in their lot with the US-backed rebels controlling this buffer zone, the enclave will acquire strategic depth and this part of southern Syria would grow into a powerful military entity capable of standing up to Assad’s and al Qaeda forces alike.

The second enclave is being rolled out further north to eventually give Syrian rebel militias control of a 30-km wide strip running the 60-km length of the Syrian-Israeli Golan border which, including Quneitra, has a population of around 300,000.Eventually, US planners expect to connect the two buffer zones as a safe haven and stronghold in southern Syria for moderate Syrian opposition elements, safeguarded by US, Israel and Jordanian military support.

About the Author
David made aliya in 1960 and has been active in Jewish issues since. He was a regional director for JNF in New York, created JUDAC, Jews United to Defend the Auschwitz Cemetery during that controversy; at the request of Jonathan Pollard created and led Justice for the Pollards in 1989.
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