HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

Would A Syria-Israel War Open US Opportunity Against Iran?

With the news of an overt Syrian threat (albeit from an 'unnamed Syrian official'), Arnaud DeBorchgrave takes a look at the potential for an Israeli-Syrian war.

There is little doubt Israel and Hezbollah are suiting up for a resumption of last summer's 34-day war in which the Israel Defense Force came off second best due to poor political and military leadership. Hezbollah is also shorthand for Syria and Iran. Tehran supplies the equipment and the funding. Syria acts as the transmission belt and is generously compensated.

Damascus has evidently concluded that an Israeli offensive across the Golan Heights is in the offing. For the first time in 40 years, Syria dismantled military checkpoints on the road to Kuneitra on its side of the Golan. Foreign journalists were barred from covering Israeli maneuvers on the Heights. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said the IDF was conducting military maneuvers -- and nothing more.

One of the more plausible scenarios has Israel preparing for a drive into Syria across the Golan Heights, and then fighting a "decisive" battle with the Syrian army on the road to Damascus, followed by a left "hook" into Lebanon to execute an outflanking attack on Hezbollah.

That could also be a strategically propitious moment for U.S. action against Iran. It remains to be seen whether the key players in President George W. Bush's National Security Council would agree an opportunity is at hand to dust off an Air Force and Navy contingency plan to take out Iran's 23 nuclear facilities.

There is little evidence - aside from the initial approval of a 'surge' in Iraq - to suggest much forward-leaning thinking from the White House. American strikes on Iran in any capacity would perhaps come as more of a shock to American observers than even to the Iranian regime. For what it's worth.

3 Comments

Maybe if Israel and Syria were both using CONVENTIONAL forces against Israel the U.S. would do anything. Sadly it looks like both are free to use terror proxies with no repercussions.

The threat of a strike against Iran has been ghosting around for quite a while. It may be that such feints and rumors will make it more difficult to detect the real thing if and when it ever occurs… or it could be just what it looks like; saber rattling for tactical political gain.

As far as the Golan… Syria may feel emboldened by Hamas’ success in Lebanon last summer. The specter of an invincible Israeli military has now been shattered in broad daylight. The fear factor has been factored out. Having Iran as a backstop is probably seen as a counter balance to Israel having the US for material… if not even direct support. Adding into this equation that America is preoccupied with its occupation of Iraq and a growing anti-war movement at home, and that view may not be too far from the truth.

There are a lot of situations and locations coming to something of a simultaneous boil right now. It’s hard not to imagine some conflagration erupting at some point in the near future. It’s just a question of where and whether it will spread quickly or be quenched before it becomes global.

In truth, Israel will never find true safety and security as long as her enemies are allowed to remain perched at her gates. If there were a dash across the Golan in either direction by either side, it would come as no real surprise to anyone.

There is a better way to take care of the current Iranian regime. Regime change, as Bush was so fondly vocalizing in the past, is best accomplished internally. Iran is loaded with an intelligent, relatively young restive population, and further more the mullahs do not have a big constituency there. It cannot be hard to find a critical mass of people who want to support democratic revolution in Iran. The Iranian Constitution of 1906 is remarkably modern, and Iranian intellectuals have in fact been debating the best form of government for their country for many years. Iranian workers are in a semi-open revolt against the regime, along with such minority groups as the Kurds, the Balouchis, the Azeris, the Bahais and the Ahwazi Arabs, the largest and most active being the Mujahedeen-e Khalq. In other words, most of the Iranian people are opposed, in some form, to the present theocratic reactionary government.

Also, Iranian sponsorship of both Shi'a and Sunni jihadist groups needs to be expressed more especially in Iraq. This shatters all preconceived notions----the war in Iraq isn't sectarian, it's ideological----It's not civil, it's regional.

One of the underlying aims of the Iraq War was to create a stabilized Iraq in order to destabilize Iran. But perhaps a better alternative is to destabilize Iran in order to stabilize Iraq!

P.S. Don't wory about the Kurds breaking away and linking up with their kinsmen in Iraq and Turkey ----it would be about time. The Kurds have the distinction of being the longest running indigenous people, in this world, to have never had their own nation.