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Analysis: The Iranian plan for attacks from Syria that Israel wants to thwart

Air raids on Syria
Jonathan WALTER (AFP)

If the attack on Syria last night was indeed carried out by the Israeli Air Force or any other military force, four main points may be intimated.

Iran continues to entrench itself

The attack last night may indicate that the Iranians have not stopped their efforts to entrench themselves in Syria, with the aim of establishing an eastern front against Israel, in addition to the one that already exists in Lebanon. Despite the Russian persuasion attempts following the downing of the intelligence plane, Qassem Suleimani, a former Revolutionary Guards commander, has not been deterred in efforts to become further entrenched in Syria, including in areas near Israel.

At the same time, Arabic media reports that Hezbollah was deployed along the border between Syria and Lebanon, on both sides of the border and around Damascus, to create a logistical and operational continuum between the two fronts, which actually operate under Iranian command.

According to the Arab reports, the Iranian effort in Syria apparently includes the deployment of Shiite militias in Syrian army camps in the Qiswa region near the border with Israel on the Golan Heights. From there, the militiamen will be able to launch terrorist attacks against Israeli communities in the Golan Heights, or to defend Damascus if Israel attacks Syria and Lebanon on the ground to prevent fire into Israel. According to media outlets in Lebanon, the Iranian effort also includes the construction of underground warehouses in the Syrian-Lebanese border area.

No fear of the Russian S-300

Israel tried to avoid unnecessary friction with Russia and reduced the number of attacks on Syrian soil. Until yesterday, only two or three attacks were reported against Iranian targets in Syria. This was also due to the fact that the Iranians, under pressure from Moscow, eased up on entrenchment moves in Syria.

Recently, when Sulaimani began intensive activity to build a network of Hezbollah militias near the border with Israel, the prime minister and defense minister, together with the general staff forum, decided to thwart or at least disrupt this

Netanyahu signaled to Russia and in the global arena several times in his public speeches in recent weeks. When Russia, Syria, and Iran failed to the hint, Israel acted by force, at least according to the Syrian media.

The attack yesterday was a signal to both Russians and Iranians that, to this day, even in the face of the Russian S-300, Israel will not hesitate to act forcefully to thwart immediate and severe threats such as those in Syria,

Israel is losing patience in Lebanon

At the same time, Israel has indirectly signaled that it will not accept the establishment of an industrial missile precision system in Lebanon if the Iranians and Hezbollah continue to do it jointly.

Yesterday, a transport plane belonging to a company serving the Revolutionary Guards landed in Beirut, leading military equipment for various destinations for clients in the Middle East and Asia. It can be assumed that the plane conveyed, as it was in the past, kits to upgrade the accuracy of Hezbollah's missiles and rockets.

It can therefore be assumed that the attack in Syria a few hours after the Iranian plane landed in Beirut attributed to Israel was intended to make it clear to the Lebanese government and Hezbollah that Israel's patience is growing short.

The timing of the attack and Russia 

One can reasonably assume that the confrontation initiated by the Russians with Ukraine and the negative international echoes, the possibility of a war being waged by the president of Ukraine, divert Russian military attention from the Syrian arena.

It can also be assumed that Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want to get in trouble at the same time with US President Donald Trump, who has already canceled his meeting with NATO, the EU, Ukraine and Israel.

It is reasonable to assume that Jerusalem and the defense establishment understood that even for the Russian bear it was too much to bear at once, drawing the correct conclusions about the timing of the attack in Syria, attributed to Israel's air force or to any other military source.

Ron Ben-Yishai is a senior Israeli defense analyst. This article is published courtesy of Ynet.

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BHO must be proud of the messy international situation he created with his pal Bush.

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