These could have been only the first skirmishes of a potential war between Israel and Iran that promises a fearsome level of destruction, even for the high standards of violence in the modern Middle East.
The fighting could spread throughout Syria and Lebanon, with Israeli cities hit as well as strategic targets in Iran.
In its early stages it would be a pulse between Israeli air power against Iran’s long-range missiles and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies.
In short, a conflict that must be avoided and the time to do so is now. Be that as it may, Israel and Iran are still on a collision course.
Israel has long been concerned about the increase of Iranian influence in the region.
But the war in Syria greatly increased the closeness of forces supported by Tehran to the borders of Israel.
In addition to Hezbollah, a group of Iranian militias took part in the fighting, along with officers and military advisers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
The strong support of Tehran, together with the power of Russian aviation, ensured the survival of the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and now Teheran seeks to take advantage of the strategic benefits of that bet.
The Syrian factor
Iran is frontally opposed to the Jewish state and has long supported various radical groups seeking its destruction.
The Syrian war gave Tehran the possibility of opening a direct front against Israel on its northern border. In recent months, the Israelis say, a series of facilities were established there: weapons depots, barracks, anti-aircraft defenses, etc.
The recent escalation began on April 9 in an Israeli air strike to what, according to Israel, was an Iranian drone facility on the so-called T-4 base, near Palmira. Supposedly, several Iranian military advisers died.Iran promised to respond and since then there have been sporadic incidents that seem to be the result of Israeli efforts to abort that response.
The Israel Defense Forces launched an air strike against an underground missile deposit and the explosion was so powerful that it was recorded in the seismic detection systems. A few days before, Israel claimed to have destroyed missiles that were about to be launched.
In the last episode, the Iranians appear to have been able to fire about 20 rockets at military positions in the Golan Heights.Israel claims that it destroyed the shuttle from which it was fired. But then he proceeded to hit most, if not all, of the Iranian facilities he knows about in Syria. The intention: both to stop the development of the Iranian military infrastructure in the country, as well as send a powerful signal to Tehran.
In the short term there is ground to hope that this will not worsen until a total war.
The alleged Iranian attack – and I underline the “supposed”, because until now there is no confirmation of Iranian sources – was carried out with only a relative short-range system, apparently a rocket launcher with several cannons.
The targets were Israeli military positions, not civil zones. The Israeli response was massive. But his spokesman insists that Israel does not want a large-scale conflict.
The Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said that “nobody wants an escalation, certainly nobody wants a war”.
In any case, Lieberman made it clear that, among other things, his country will not allow the sophisticated Iranian air defenses to be deployed in Syria, which would put Israeli airspace within reach and would effectively close the aviation routes.
Previous information had already circulated of an Israeli bombing that had destroyed the Iranian air defenses located in Syria.
No ability to influence
The risks are huge. The strategic design of Iran is clear. He was surprised by how much the Israelis seem to know about their activities in Syria, but they are not likely to dissuade them from their attempts.
Israel traced its red lines and certainly does not give its arm to twist.
Foreign powers are not in a good position to influence either party.
Russia has relations with Iran, since both sides support the regime of El Asad, but the Russian president also understands with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. So far, Russia has done little or nothing to limit the freedom of movement of the Israeli air force over the skies of Lebanon and Syria.Washington’s influence in the region is decreasing. The decision of the Donald Trump government to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran will be seen by Tehran as an unequivocal signal that the glove has been thrown and that the new US policy is based more on contention or perhaps even on the commitment to a change of regime that in the dialogue.
In such circumstances in Iran the actions of Israel will be seen as an additional indicator of the intentions of the United States.
It is a grim picture. It is likely that in the immediate future the pattern of attack-response attempt-counterattack will continue.
A clear danger is that Iran could try to carry out its revenge outside the Middle East.
Pro-Iranian factions in the past attacked Israeli tourists and Jewish organizations abroad, especially in Latin America
If an attack of this kind were to occur, it would be inevitable that it would alter the situation, pushing Israel into total war.
You may also like
- Why the Sandstorm in India Was So Deadly
- Vehicle Was Hung on the Millwood Bridge in Toronto
- Vladimir Putin Takes Oath for 4th Time as Russian President
- World’s Oldest Surviving Beer Found in a Shipwreck, Aged 220 Years
- Japanese Roller Coaster Stalls and Strands People Face Down for 2 Terrifying Hours