How to Understand Israel's Strike on Syria

(New York Times) Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin - The Israeli attack on a military site in Syria that produces advanced missiles represents a major step in the right direction for Israel's policy toward Syria. While Israel has previously targeted weapons shipments en route to Hizbullah, now Israel is broadening the scope of its action to prevent its key adversaries from producing or acquiring advanced weaponry in the first place. This is essentially an extension of the doctrine pioneered by Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1981, which insisted that Israel carry out preemptive strikes to stop its enemies from constructing nuclear-enrichment plants as well as production facilities for advanced conventional weapons. Israel's message to Washington and Moscow is that if the great powers fail to take its critical interests into account in Syria, Israel will act independently to protect itself. Another message has to do with credibility. In a world where threats are cheap and plentiful, it is much more meaningful when a nation delivers on tough rhetoric. In this specific case, the complex that was attacked was funded mostly by Iran, utilizes Iranian technology, and produces advanced long-range missiles and chemical weapons. The strike shows that Israel is willing to take decisive action to prevent the development of long-term strategic threats. The airstrike rebuts claims that the Israeli Air Force was negatively affected by the deployment of powerful Russian air defenses in Syria. The facility that was hit produces chemical weapons, barrel bombs, and a variety of other weapons that the Assad regime has used to massacre innocents. Destroying it could save countless lives. The writer, director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, was the chief of Israeli military intelligence from 2006 to 2010 and participated in the successful raid to destroy Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

2017-09-11 00:00:00

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