Continued Iranian Military Expansion in Syria Will Lead to Wider Conflict

(New York Daily News) Dennis Ross - As someone who has long watched the Iranians sponsor proxy terror attacks against the Israelis and against American forces in Iraq, the surprise is not that the Iranians would try to hit Israel but that they would do it directly. That helps to explain the Israeli response which was designed to leave no doubt with the Iranians that they are playing with fire. It should also be a wake-up call for the international community and the U.S. Acquiescing in the continuing expansion of the Iranian military presence and infrastructure in Syria will sooner or later produce a much wider conflict involving the Israelis and Iranians and the Shia militias - several of whose leaders have provocatively visited the Israeli border recently. It is the Russians who have abetted the spread of the Iranian military presence in Syria. The Iranians potentially put Russian forces in danger with their attempted attack against Israel. Now is the time for Putin to say that there will be no more Russian air cover for any Shia militia expansion from existing positions. The Trump administration has left the Israelis largely on their own. And, on their own, they have little choice but to use force to send blunt messages like they did Saturday. The writer, former special assistant to President Obama, is a Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2018-02-13 00:00:00

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