Israel Still Disrupting Tehran's Takeover in Syria

(JNS) Yaakov Lappin - Israel's "campaign between the wars" against Tehran's effort to build a war machine in Syria began a decade ago and has seen hundreds of airstrikes on weapons supply runs and efforts to build attack bases by Iran, Hizbullah and other pro-Iranian Shi'ite militias in Syria. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Research Division, said the campaign has prevented a substantial quantity of Iranian weapons from reaching Hizbullah and Iranian-controlled forces in Syria and Lebanon. "The campaign's achievements include weakening the grip of Iran and Hizbullah in the Syrian Golan Heights region and degrading their ability to attack Israel from Syrian territory. The campaign also succeeded in shaping the rules of the game and thereby enabling broad Israeli freedom of action in Syria." That doesn't mean that Iran is giving up, he cautioned. "This is similar to Gazan terror factions that fire rockets at Israel despite Iron Dome intercepting 95% of the projectiles. They see the 5% of rockets that get through as an achievement, and this is how Iran views the weapons supply runs that do get through." Ely Karmon, a senior research scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) in Herzliya, noted, "Iran is also pursuing a long-term civilian-demographic goal of moving Shi'ites, mainly militia members and their families, from Iraq and Afghanistan to what were once Sunni areas of Syria. Iran also wishes to convert Syria's Alawites to Shi'ite Islam so that they develop full allegiance to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei." Russian assurances that Iranian-axis forces would not move within 80 km. (50 miles) of the Syrian-Israeli border have proven to be highly unreliable, Karmon added.

2023-07-20 00:00:00

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