Where to Draw the Line Against Iran's Mideast Takeover

(Daily Beast) Michael Horowitz - Recent weeks have witnessed a growing competition in eastern Syria between U.S.-backed forces and Iranian-led militias seeking to secure a land corridor to the Mediterranean. The ayatollahs are seeking to control the border between Iraq and Syria to complete a land route that will greatly consolidate their influence over the Middle East. The consequences would go well beyond the smuggling of weapons to Iran's proxies in Syria and Lebanon. Tehran's forces will be able to move from one country to another in ways that multiply their ability to shape the future of Iraq, Syria, and the region. The Iranian regime has laid the groundwork for such a strategy by taking control over a significant portion of the forces fighting ISIS in Syria and in Iraq. Indeed, a significant portion of these irregulars are already more loyal to Tehran than to Damascus or Baghdad. Regardless of what happens in Syria, Tehran will not allow U.S. forces to remain in Iraq and, once ISIS is defeated, Iran will go back to its previous strategy of harassing U.S. soldiers. The writer is director of intelligence for Prime Source, an Israel-based geopolitical consultancy on security threats.

2017-06-29 00:00:00

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