Will Israel Soon Face an Iranian Protectorate in Syria?

(Al-Monitor) Ben Caspit - Middle East developments over the past few years have affected Israel's conception of national security. For the first time in its history, Israel was not surrounded by conventional armies capable of threatening it. The IDF adapted itself more to guerilla warfare and fighting against widely dispersed networks of terror organizations, establishing commando units and upgrading infantry units. However, a formerly high-placed source in Israel's security system told Al-Monitor last week, "Syria is returning, that is clear now....In the near future, Assad will be declared the final, unequivocal winner of this war. Following that, the path to Syria's rebuilding and reconstruction will be short." "It is safe to assume that the Iranians will invest a fortune in rebuilding the Syrian army and we will return to dealing with [Syria's] Division 4 or Corps 5 or the various presidential forces we got to know in the decades preceding this war." When the fighting ends, a new Syria will emerge - one much more dangerous than its predecessor. "This time," an Israeli security source said, "it will be a Syria that is connected to Iraq, that is connected to Iran, which are both connected to Hizbullah....It may soon be revealed that Syria has become a protectorate of Iran. It may become just another proxy with the goal of spilling as much Israeli blood as possible." Yes, developments on the Syrian front do worry Israel greatly, but they are not expected to change the basic components of Israeli deterrence. Israel will continue to emphasize that in the next confrontation in the north, it will destroy Lebanon, as the Lebanese state and Hizbullah are one and the same. The new Syria will find itself in a similar situation.

2017-09-07 00:00:00

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