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Iran and Israel At The Cusp of War

Iran and Israel At The Cusp of War

Israel has been very vocal of their displeasure over any Iranian presence on their borders, things blew up yesterday with what first started as an Iranian drone incursion into Israeli airspace, they shot down the drone, the drone had turned back to Syria to escape such a fate, Israel shot it down regardless, once it had penetrated their airspace they have let it know they will go after the drones even outside their airspace to shoot them down. 

Israeli spokesman Conricus said Iran was “playing with fire” by infiltrating Israeli airspace, and said the unmanned aircraft Israel shot down was “on a military mission sent and operated by Iranian military forces.” He said Israel recovered the dispatched drone, which was Iranian.

In response, Conricus said Israeli jets destroyed the Iranian site in central Syria that launched it. Upon their return, the jets came under heavy Syrian anti-aircraft fire, and the pilots of one of the F-16s had to escape, and the plane crashed. It’s unclear whether the aircraft was struck or if the pilots abandoned their mission for a different reason.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war in Syria, said Israel targeted the edges of a military air base, called T-4, in the Homs desert near Palmyra, where Iranian and Hezbollah forces are based alongside Syrian troops. The Observatory said the raids resulted in casualties but didn’t specify. It also said Israeli raids targeted areas in southwestern Damascus, bordering the southern provinces. This was followed by strikes on Syrian government posts along the Damascus-Beirut road, close to the border between Syria and Lebanon.

I think what we have here is the Iranians were flexing their muscle, trying to goad Israel into an attack, what they may watch out for is Israel will respond to every incursion, they will attack every response, now either Iran can pull back, or they could very well find themselves in a large scale war with Israel to push them out and away from their borders.

But what will happen if Israel strikes back? 

First, Israel is not ISIS or the other forces that Iran, Syria or Hezbollah has fought against, they are a professional army that is as good as any army out there, in fact, I would take them man for man and against any military in the world. 

Stack up militaries against military neither Syria nor Iran have anything that can match up to what Israel has. Their Airforce is equal to what Russia has in the country, and I don’t see Russia risking losing face by getting involved. Their armored forces far outmatch what both Syria and Iran, in fact even if you combined their armor they would not be able to match what Israel has. Israel has a professional force that while not huge 

If Iran pushed where Israel felt they had to do something I don’t see them trying to head to Iran, their military is not set up for that type of operations, they would first go after any rocket launchers that Iran has in Syria, would tell Russia they will respect their sovereignty and leave their bases alone and would promise not to unseat the Syrian government unless they went into an all-out war with Israel. Israel’s goals would be really simple, to move back Iranian and Hezbollah fighters from their borders, most likely 30 or 50 miles. They then would see to it that what Iran has in Syria, and they don’t have much in the way that can stand up to Israeli forces, neither does Hezbollah, Israel would not have much problem with pushing them back. 

What would the outcome be?

In a way, this would be a good thing for Syria, although it may not seem like it. Syria is in ruins, so war is in reality not going to make much difference in the state of their nation. But Syria is caught between a rock and a hard place; they have both Iran and Hezbollah that have fought for them, aided in wiping out ISIS, now they want their dues.

Having in Syria both Iranian and Hezbollah forces causes their nation to come under attacks now and in the foreseeable future, for as long as this is going on Iran will continue to try to smuggle arms to Hezbollah, they, in turn, will be attacked by Israel who has said under no conditions will they allow such a thing. So how do they stop this?

Have a short conflict with Israel, Israel will push Iran to the border, Syria will have to bloody up a couple of forces, they can’t be seen to allow this freely, Hezbollah will be pushed back to Lebanon, the Russians will be left alone, and Syria will be free to first deal with the rebellion in a way that they feel a need to and will be open to begin the reconstruction without interference. 

The Dangers?

There are many dangers with this, but you have to remember that Assad is in bad shape, he has, for the most part, won the war, much of Syria is under his control again, but there are competing powers in much of the area. He has Turkish forces, Iranian forces, Saudi, US forces, Russian Forces and other national forces along with different separatist groups in country, the simple fact is there is no way he will regain control of a unified Syria, the only way I can see anything happening is the larger part will come back under his control but the land West of the Euphrates will be the cut off point, the rest will most likely fall under a coalition of sorts, this is where American forces are at. 

If Assad can agree to this, and I see no way he can’t unless he wishes to bring American troops under fire, which would be a disaster for him, this is most likely going to be the layout. If he can push the last of ISIS out, in the area you see in the black east of the Euphrates, this is ISIS land, they will be gone in a very short period, the same with their area’s west of the Euphrates, their time as a nation is over. What you have left are the Kurdish area’s, I don’t see them allowing Assad to regain control over them, the rebel groups will either go to the East of Euphrates or be rolled up, Turkey will have no choice but to pull back or risk being drawn into a war, and they will not be able to draw in NATO, for NATO is only in place if your forces are attacked in country, not in someone else’s land. 

In the end Israel will never allow a large Iranian presence along their borders, I can promise they will go to war to stop this, the Russians don’t wish to have a confrontation with Israel, that could easily bring the US into the conflict, besides, Russia doesn’t have the forces in land to risk such a thing.

Puttin, regardless of what you have heard about him, he is cunning and very aware of what his nation’s in prestige has at risk, a confrontation with Israel would risk Russian troops being pushed out of Syria, this may seem as not doable, but you have to remember he is drawing down his forces, in December of last year he announced that he is now pulling forces out of Syria, he got what he wanted, Assad place in power secure and a naval base on the Med, the Russian naval facility in Tartus, this will enable him to have a place for replentishment and repare of his fleet in the Meditranian. He also got an agreement with Syria for Khmeimim Air Base, this has now not only put a naval facility for Russia with a warm water port but an air base next to it to provide cover if needed, this is something Russia has been after since the days of the Czars. 

I hope no war breaks out, but would not be surprised if it did, what the big question in the room is what Hezbollah in Lebanon would do. If Israel could cut them off, deal with Iran first pushing them out, they could then focus their attention on Hezbollah, could clean them out since their supply line to Iran would be cut off.

Any conflict with Hezbollah carries a huge danger, with 130,000+ rockets pointed at Israel, even if Israel can knock off 90% of them and take out their launching sites, this is needed to launch any of the larger missiles, they still would have over 13,000 rockets launched at them, this could devestate their nation, they would be left with a choice of trying to take out every rocket, which I don’t think is possible, they could move up Iron Beam, we know they have this laser defense system, but no knowledge of the power or effectiveness against short range rockets. They could very well be given the choice of either protecting military and priority items, like their nuke facilities, and allow attacks on Israeli cities. They could push in like they did last time, take out the ability to fire the short-range rockets at Israel, but this carries a whole new set of risks. 

I have learned long ago that what seems to be is not what it really is when you deal with the Middle East, you have to look for moves within moves. Will this happen? It may, but it most likely will not; but if it does, you can say you heard it here first.

About The Author

Timothy Benton

Student of history, a journalist for the last 2 years. Specialize in Middle East History, more specifically modern history with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Also, a political commentator has been a lifetime fan of politics.

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