Israeli Security Policy in Syria

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser - The attempted Hizbullah attack thwarted in the northern Golan Heights on April 26, 2015, and the air strikes apparently carried out by the Israeli Air Force on April 21 and 24 against military targets in Syria, as reported in Arab media, join a series of similar incidents over the past three years. The attacks purportedly targeted advanced weapons being stored before their transfer to Hizbullah in Lebanon. Apart from isolated cases, Israel has avoided directly responding to reports on the strikes and merely made declarations about its general policy. Syria and Hizbullah, for their part, have generally refrained from addressing the reports publicly and have not mounted a military operation as a direct response to the strikes. The attacks and reported air strikes indicate an ongoing battle between Israel and the Iranian-led radical axis to set the rules of the game in Syrian territory and the severity of the threat that the radical axis can pose to Israel from the north. Hizbullah is seen as the military arm of Iran, its main purpose being to fight Israel and Iran's other adversaries in the region. It is trying to acquire more precise missiles, with longer ranges and heavier warheads, along with anti-ship and anti-aircraft systems, and more. Hizbullah's involvement in Syria creates legitimacy for anti-Lebanese activity by Sunni radicals. Its deep involvement in the Syrian civil war is nowhere near its conclusion and will continue to exact a heavy price. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser is Director of the Project on the Regional Implications of the Syrian Civil War at the Jerusalem Center. He was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research and Analysis and Production Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

2015-05-04 00:00:00

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