What Comes after Israel's Bombing of Weapons Factory in Syria?

(Council on Foreign Relations) Elliott Abrams - Last week Israel bombed a site in Syria where chemical weapons and precision bombs are said to be produced. Israel had made clear in a series of statements in the last six months that such a facility would not be tolerated. Israel has given fair warning that there are limits to what it will tolerate in Iranian conduct and the Iranian presence in Syria. Israel also acted in part because the U.S. does not seem willing to restrain Iran in any serious way in Syria. The Israelis are not going to go into Syria and try to drive Iran, the Shia militias, and Hizbullah out, but they are trying to establish some limits to acceptable Iranian behavior. What would be useful at this point is a statement by the U.S. that we approve of the action Israel took, and that in the event of a conflict Israel would have our support in defending itself. Such a statement might help persuade Iran and Syria to observe the limits Israel is imposing, and might help avoid a wider conflict. The writer, a senior fellow at the CFR, handled Middle East affairs at the U.S. National Security Council from 2001 to 2009.

2017-09-11 00:00:00

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