Has Israel opened a new front in Syria's war?
(Al Jazeera) Israeli raids against alleged Iranian targets inside Syria have raised fears of a major confrontation in the Middle East.
Amid international calls for restraint and calm, Israeli officials say the attacks on Thursday were not aimed at opening a new front in Syria's war, but analysts say much will depend on Iran's response.
The Israeli army said warplanes targeted intelligence, logistics, storage and vehicles in response to rocket fire targeting its forces in the occupied Golan Heights, which it blamed on Iran.
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's defence minister, said the Israeli assault struck "almost all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria", and added that Israel will desist from launching any further attacks.
"I hope we finished this chapter and everyone got the message," he said, but warned that "if it rains on us [Israel], it will pour on them [Iran]."
caltrek's comment: I think that if nothing else, this all demonstrates a point that I made in another thread. That point being that the U.S. is not the sole source of evil in the Middle East.
Even if the U.S. says to Russia, "we are no longer interested in this region. Do with it what you will," Russia would still have to deal with other entities. Entities that would not necessarily be in complete agreement with Russia as to the outcomes that they desire for the region. Israel may not have the firepower that Russia has, but they are still a formidable power in the region. Ditto Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran. Getting these five powers to agree on a common course of action and then throw Syria into the mix, and the sources of chaos become apparent.
So, part of Trump's strategy is neo-isolationist. That is to go down a different path and let all of these other entities bleed each other to death. Of course, we still have favorites, most obviously Israel. So, while neo-isolationalist it is not pacifist. We still have a dog in the fight, one which we will presumably keep well armed.
Pointing these realities out cause Russophiles to label me as being a hypocrite. Yet, it is not hypocrisy that motivates me, it is rather a desire to be realistic. Something that such Russophiles are not used to from a self-proclaimed pacifist.