A new potential war trigger in the Middle East?

I haven’t seen this reported anywhere else, but Strategy Page claims:

Syria is apparently granting citizenship (and Syrian passports) to thousands of Iranian mercenaries like Hezbollah from Lebanon, some Iranians and Shia from other countries Iran recruited to fight in Syria. These newly created Syrians will be wearing Syrian Army uniforms as they take up position near the Israeli border. Israel suspected that Iran was planning this and now has to respond before these Iranian forces can carry out any attacks (as Iran has vowed to do) on Israel itself. Iran is desperate for a win because their recent efforts to hurt Israel have all been very embarrassing failures.

The report is part of a larger article on current developments in Syria.

If true, this is a potentially explosive development.  Israel has long had a “line in the sand” policy that Iranian forces and their surrogates could not operate close to Israel’s borders.  Whenever that line was crossed, Israel struck back, hard.  Now, it will become almost impossible for reconnaissance flights and/or satellite imagery to distinguish Iranians from Syrians, if both are wearing the same uniform and occupying the same camps.  Israel can’t afford that;  so it’s likely to start hitting at any major concentration of military forces in Syria that are within a hundred miles of its border.  It can’t afford to wait, only to find out the hard way that Iranian forces are launching an attack from a base that was left alone.

It’s quite clear that Iran is seeking a confrontation with Israel at almost any cost – one where its forces’ lack of technological sophistication can be offset by proximity.  Your super-duper guided weapons and precision strike capability are great at a distance, but they count for a lot less if I can get within knife-fighting range of you before you deploy them.  I suspect Iran would like nothing more.

This will bear watching, and in the short term, too.  Israel has to respond to this.  It has no real strategic or tactical alternative.  That may, in turn, draw the USA into greater involvement in Syria – one that will entangle us even more than we already are.  The New Yorker (admittedly not an objective source where the Trump administration is concerned) thinks that may already be happening.  That’s not a comfortable thought, to put it mildly.



  1. Friends, thoughtful comment on a post is all very well. Anti-semitic diatribes are not. Any and all such comments will be removed.

  2. One of the things people often don't grasp is just how small Israel really is.

    Even if you include the "disputed territories" – not "occupied" – Israel is smaller than the state of New Jersey. It's TINY. Unlike the US it has no oceans as a buffer; it has virtually no "strategic depth".

  3. Terrorists with Syrian passports? We might want to look into excluding them from our own shores.
    Oops, wait. Islamophobia. Also, Orange Man Bad. We must take all passports at face value, right?

    And, in the original context: ugh. The citizenship aspect would seem to make it all "legal", in so far as that term has any meaning…? The Iranians in Syria officially are Syrians now?
    No matter what Israel does, it's wrong in the eyes of the UN. Scary developments indeed.

  4. Look, Assad is an Alawhite- a minority religion. I don't know how many Christians are left, but basically, Assad has a coalition of minority groups he has to balance to keep control of the Sunnis. The Sunnis are the terrorists- which our gov. sometimes likes to pretend are people we should give aid and comfort to.

    So, how much lee-way you think Assad has? The Iranians are Shiites, they are also against the Sunnis, but no doubt view Alawhites, Christians, etc..- dimly.

    I think this is more likely an excuse for yet another attack against Assad and his forces. It isn't a legitimate reason to attack even if it is happening, because, if it is happening, they are fighting for Syria, not Iran- and the target isn't Israel but the terrorists.

  5. you know you've entered a closed mind when a different view of things from the catechism of the moment is prohibited.

  6. @JaimeinTexas:

    Do you know why Israel took the Golan? It's a tactical missile platform which Syria used to deepen their artillery fire into Israel proper.

  7. Brilliant, Jaime.
    I'm sure sitting at the bottom of those hills, and watching rockets sail into Galilee kibbutzim for 40 years from Syrian positions had no part in their eventual decision not to relinquish literal strategic military high ground attained at a prodigious cost in national blood and treasure in multiple wars against Syria.
    It's only Israel's desire to conquer the entire Middle East with 6 million people.

    And I have a bridge for sale, cheap.

    If El Paso or San Diego got rocketed for 40 years from Mexico, the buffer zone would be 50 miles wide, and as sterile of lifeforms as an empty operating room for the next century.

    Syria is lucky we convinced Israel not to capture and raze Damascus in '73.

  8. I know the history and its significance. I also know that it is Syrian territory.

    There is no solution in the ME only actions to lower the tension.

    Maybe if Israel had to live with its own consequences instead of acting because big daddy uSA is going to get their arses out of the fire. It is called moral hazard.

    How many terrorists Israel supports against Syria and Iran?

  9. The problem is that quite a few Islamic nations in the region accept nothing less than the total eradication of the nation of Israel.
    IDK exactly how often Israel offered a peaceful solution, even going so far as to go back to the 1947 UN Partition plan. But I know that every single attempt was answered with the demand of the end of Israel.
    As long as the surrounding nations don't play ball with Israel and instead keep attacking it (either officially or by tacit acceptance of terrorists acting from their territory) Israel has no other choice then to suppress the aggressive nations.
    And if they act civilized, Israel has shown that it answers that with civility.
    Jordan has a relative good relationship, and Egypt is being left in peace.
    Syria? Not so much.

  10. @JaimeInTexas. Not anymore, it isn’t. Syria engaged in multiple wars of invasion and annihilation.
    They lost.

  11. Syria is now, and has been for a long time, a puppet government of Iran and more radical factions of islam. So for people to lay the blame on Israel only is just twisted logic.

    Just look at an orbital view. Israel is that green and thriving chunk of land. Wherever the Israelis go they create fertile land, safe homes and life. Wherever HAMAS, the PLO, Syria, and Iran have gone, all is death and desert.

    So. Do you support life or death? Fertile growing land or desert? Humanity and Compassion or Fear and Death?

    Sure, Israel hasn't been pure and clean, and sometimes has played downright nasty and dirty. But overall, Israel is the bright shining example of a functioning country. Their acceptance and willing to work with minorities is so contrary to the 'normal' treatment of religious and ethnic minorities by such esteemed countries like, well, Syria or Iran.

    I support, overall, Israel, because they really are the good guys here.

    And this latest action by Iran's puppet Syria will result in yet another bloody war that will be blamed on Israel.

    Subtle hint: You can tell who the bad guys are by which way the attack tunnels go. So far all point into Israel.

  12. Syria invaded who, Lebanon? IIRC, Israel attacked Syria preemtively.

    Jews pushing Arabs out.
    Arabs pushing Israel out.

  13. 1948 Arab Israeli War Egypt, Syria, Transjordan (today's Jordan) and Iraq declared war and invaded Israel 1 day after its creation.
    1967 Six day war Israel acted first, after Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq mobilized Troops on the Israeli border, with the declared intention (since 1949) to destroy Israel.
    1973 Yom Kippur War Egypt and Syria attacked Israel.

    Also Syria is the only aggressor that is still technically at war with Israel. Again, since 1948.

    Syria had the chance, like Jordan, like Egypt to make peace with Israel and normalize the situation. So yes, Syria is pretty much responsible for Israel occupying the Golan to this day.

  14. Ways to get peace:

    1. Make the price of oil crater.
    2. Remove supports for Palestians – especially their special status as refugees.
    3. Regime change in Iran

  15. Ahh.
    '48 The land taken away from the locals by Europeans.
    '67 Eqyptian mobilization into Sinai (not the border) in reaction to?


    Of course it has not ended since Israel still occupies Syrian territory, for one.
    Of course it will not end. It is a addiction cycle.

    Jews pushing Arabs out.
    Arabs pushing Israel out.
    rinse repeat.

    Moral Hazard. No matter what Israel does, they do because these uSA will back Israel. Israel can do no wrong. We all know about the other side. In the occasions the Palestinians on the right, it does not matter.

    Hypocrisy from all sides.

    We need to get out of Syria.

    With regards to Iran. Saudi/Wahabbism a bigger threat. Look at the world's map of Islamic conflicts. How many Sunni? How many Shia?

  16. As a student of history I am a fan of the movie Serenity. The anti-hero rep of Parliament tells Mel that in war you leave your enemy no safe ground to go to. Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 67 war and you can capture the essence of the 73 war here:http://www.historynet.com/yom-kippur-war-sacrificial-stand-in-the-golan-heights.htm

    Syria has proven over and over to be a blood enemy of Israel and the Palestinian refugees. I wonder that any rational person would defend their claims to anything. I'm with the ancient Roman saying from Tacitus, they will make a desert and call it peace. It applies to Syria and by rights should apply to all who oppose Syria.

  17. "Jews pushing Arabs out."

    Really? Arabs still live in Israel. They were not driven out, as opposed to what every Arab country did to their own resident Jews in '48.

    Definition of insanity: Arabs attacking Israel.

    They are estimated to be #4 in the nuke warhead owners club. They could turn the entire middle east into a glass parking lot that glows in the dark. Let those idiots in Iran build their own, and you can bet that parking lots will be a growth industry. Islam breeds idiots.

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