Iran's Moves in Syria Raise Risk of Conflict With Israel


On Tuesday, ahead of Israel's Independence Day and in an apparent effort at deterrence, Israeli media was provided by the IDF with a map showing five Iranian-controlled bases in Syria, which would apparently constitute potential targets for an Israeli response should Iran carry out any kind of attack.

"We have been hearing these threats for many years now, and I am suggesting that all those on the northern border [in Lebanon] really think hard about what they do - they really should not test the IDF or the State of Israel", he said.

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Israel attacked Syria, just like it (reportedly) has countless times before. Hezbollah, Iran's most influential satellite in the Levant, said in a threat to its adversary that the escalation of hostilities and developments show that "the old equalities have categorically ended". There is definitely a clash of interests, threat perceptions and a no agreement of how to handle the Iranian presence, designs and operations in Syria.

Israel claims Iran is also supplying the Lebanese Hezbollah militia-which has also been heavily involved in the fighting in Syria-with weapons and training. In a press briefing, Kuperwasser told reporters that Israel and Iran are "in an ongoing armed conflict around Iranian aspiration to turn Syria into a base from which it can improve its capability to hit Israel".

Previously, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly and repeatedly warned that Israel would not allow its deadliest enemy to build missile factories or set up forward bases in Syria that endanger Israel's existence.

Official Israel responded in kind.

Israel does not want to be seen as supporting one side of the complex conflict or becoming involved directly in the war. Economic challenges are still ripe in Iran however, as demonstrated by the recent crash in the Iranian rial, but Soleimani and his Quds Force are likely to be deterred by domestic calls to reallocate finances.

That year, the two countries agreed to coordinate military plans over Syria so they would not accidentally attack each other. High-tech surveillance and weaponry can be easily transported to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and threaten the Israeli border on multiple fault lines.

Doran, a senior adviser in the State Department and deputy assistant secretary of defense under President George W. Bush, compared the Trump and Obama approaches to Syria, Israel and the Middle East during a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Israel 70 Speakers Series event Wednesday, April 11, at Temple Sinai.

Soleimani has extended Tehran's hold on key parts of the Sunni Arab world, and is keen to reap the rewards of his investment.

Ever since Russian Federation increased its involvement in the civil war in 2015, sending soldiers and materiel to Syria, Israel has tried to stay on Russia's good side. Iran, Israel's arch-foe, has cast its military personnel in Syria as reinforcements helping President Bashar al-Assad battle a seven-year-old insurgency. About a half hour after the messages were sent out, the army recalled them, telling the soldiers to stay home.