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.