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Secrets of the Syrian War: the Israeli Factor

In recent days, the shooting and bombardment by Israel of the positions of the Syrian government troops in the border zone of the province of Quneitra have become more frequent. This makes one think that Israel may have decided to "jump into the last car" of the impact on the outcome of the civil war in Syria. Taking into account the combat readiness of all American troops in the region and their active search for an occasion to strike at the army of Bashar Assad, it can not be ruled out that the United States and Israel are taking concerted steps to escalate the Syrian conflict.

Gaps from Israeli air bombs

Until now, throughout the war in Syria, the Israeli leadership has declared its neutrality and non-interference in Syrian affairs, although it did not hide sympathy for the pro-Western part of the opposition, rendering it certain assistance. Israel accepted wounded militants for treatment in its hospitals. He provided them with material assistance, including, as it was proved, limited supplies of military materials. Together with the Americans, Israeli specialists trained Syrian recruits in the territory of Jordan, participated in the joint headquarters in the Amman area.

Israeli ammunition found in the opposition in the area of ​​Homs

Israel's approach to the prospects for the development of the Syrian crisis was largely shaped through the prism of the "final solution" of the Golan Heights problem. In the expert community of Israel, there have been many speculations that the disintegration of Syria will be objectively beneficial for Israel, since it will facilitate the international recognition of the Golan's annexation. It can be assumed that the above-mentioned considerations were also guided by state leaders. The main way for this supposedly opened up the self-determination of the Syrian Druze: it was assumed that if they created several states in Syria, they would also have to develop their own education for self-preservation purposes. The latter, by virtue of non-viability, might wish to "reunite" with the Druzes living on the other side of the Golan on the lands held by Israel, so that all of them can join it together. Thus, Israel would not only legitimize the occupied territories, but would also increase them. Despite all the fantasticness of these plans, they had influential supporters among the Druze living in Israel (in the Carmel Range area near Haifa) and having Israeli citizenship.

In these positions, in particular, stood a prominent Druze politician, Likud member Ayub Kara, who held the posts of deputy chairman of the Knesset and minister in several governments of Israel. He stated that "if the druses in Syria are threatened with destruction, Israel will not be able to stand aside." For him, a significant expansion of the Druze community in the country would open up new horizons. The only problem is that among the Druze on both sides of the Golan Heights such sentiments are almost not common. Nevertheless, it is not easy for Israeli politicians to refuse "sweet dreams". The best outcome for them would be an independent split of Syria without visible interference by Israel, which has tense relations with all its neighbors. This, above all, and explained his declared restraint throughout the war. In addition, during the period of the maximum expansion of the territory seized by the banned "Islamic State" (IG) in Russia, Israel was clearly concerned about the prospect of its coming to its borders. In the press even appeared arguments that, perhaps, the regime of B. Assad "was not so bad." At the same time, there is a high level of Russian-Israeli cooperation on the Syrian issue. However, as soon as the threat from the side of the IG goes more and more into the background, and there is no disintegration of Syria, it seems that there is a temptation to "push the events".

The current wave of Israeli strikes against Syria was of symbolic significance. It fell exactly on the 40 anniversary of Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the midst of the fire. There, before the Israeli military, he made a speech in which he said bluntly: "The Golan are ours and will always be ours. They are ours because they belonged to our ancestors and were returned back as a result of the reflection of Syrian aggression. " Frankly speaking, a rather peculiar interpretation of history, including the recent one.

The Israeli army is also providing fire support to the Jaysh Al-Mohammed coalition, which includes both "moderate" oppositionists from the SSA and Al Qaeda members from the "Hajat Tahrir ash Sham" (HTS) - the former "Djebhat an Nusra". This coalition declared the beginning of the operation under the pretentious name "The Road to Damascus." According to all resolutions and international agreements, such education as a terrorist one should be destroyed, not supported. The fact that the positions of this coalition are legitimate goals was proved by the recent strike on them in the Kuneitra area by Russian VKS from Khmeimim. There was no protest or Israeli countermeasures. And the government army, using the results of Russian bombing, threw away the formation of "Jays al-Mohammed" and, according to the latest information, completely restored the situation on the border with Israel.

Some Israeli commentators, in particular Yossi Melman, believe that this is all and will be limited. However, simultaneously in recent months in Israel there are expert recommendations to the leadership of the country to expand the participation of Israel in the Syrian war. Thus, the authoritative Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) released the report "Syria's New Map and New Actors: Challenges and Opportunities for Israel" (Syria's New Map and New Actors: Challenges and Opportunities for Israel). The authors of the document openly acknowledge that Israel was "concerned" with the agreement reached between the US and the Syrian opposition in 2016 that "no part of the Syrian national territory can be torn away." The same document stated that "the Syrian people remain committed to restoring sovereignty over the occupied territories by peaceful means." The report states that similar approaches of the Western coalition were one of the reasons for the restrained position of the Israelis in relation to its actions. However, the moment has come, according to the authors, when the country's leadership should "reconsider the traditional regional rules of the game." Between the "familiar devil" of the existing regime and the incomprehensible future with the possible coming to power of the opposition, it is necessary to choose the formatted reality, that is, to influence how Syria will look in the future. It is necessary, according to the report, to more actively intervene in the course of events, relying on the traditional and entrenched ethnic and religious groups in South Syria, in one way or another related to the SSA. Justification: many foreign players interfere in Syrian affairs. The conflict zone is supposedly already divided between the US, Russia, Turkey and Iran. Israel can not passively observe how they operate there. Among the possible measures, the authors enumerate: a significant intensification of missile and air strikes against the military aims and communications of the regime; Establishment together with Jordan of a no-fly zone over southern Syria; support for Israel's loyal opposition; the involvement of the Druse population on the Israeli side; increased participation in American actions in southern Syria; expansion of cyberwar; the establishment of new, more rigid "red lines" for Damascus.

Hardly such steps can be called productive and timely. The skating rink of the Syrian army has already gained irreversible dynamics and it can not be stopped without a full-scale invasion. But this would mean serious military operations of a strategic level, for which approval is required both by the US Congress and the Knesset of Israel. The prospects for its receipt are not yet visible. Such a turn of events would lead to a serious crisis in the entire system of international relations, although we have to admit that so far the situation is developing in a dangerous scenario.

A source: Strategic Culture Foundation

Author: Dmitry MININ

Tags: Syria, War in the Middle East, Israel, Politics, Analytics, Terrorism, Militants, Golan