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Was Israel’s Attack against Syria Really an Attack against Iran?

Over the weekend Israel carried out two air strikes against Syrian positions within 48 hours. The first attack targeted a shipment of missiles thought to have been on their way to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, and the second was an airstrike against a military research centre on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.

Syria has now threatened retaliation, in what could lead to a widespread regional conflict. The Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad told CNN that the airstrikes were considered an act of war and that the Syrian government would retaliate in their own time.

Israel has threatened to carry out strategic strikes against Syrian positions, as the two year old civil war has increased the chance that Hezbollah, or other dangerous militant groups, obtain new weapons and then use them against Israel.

Related article: Should the US Intervene in Syria?

Israel believes that since 2006 Hezbollah has increased its weapons stocks and obtained far more sophisticated missiles which offer a greater range. Israel is deeply worried that Hezbollah will launch attacks, and has deployed two Iron Dome missile defence systems in the north.

Iran is a strong supporter of Assad’s regime in Syria, and is deeply involved in the efforts to repel the rebel forces. Israel has long voiced its desires to attack Iran in order to force them to end their nuclear program before they achieve the capability to create nuclear weapons. This attack against Syria could be viewed as an indirect attack on Iran.

Jonathan Spyer, a political scientist at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya, Israel, suggested that the Israelis only attacked because Assad and his allies are too busy with the Syrian civil war to carry out any reprisal.

“Israel is taking a calculated risk that Assad, Iran and Hezbollah are right now fighting a war against the Syrian rebels and probably don’t want to open up a second front against a far more formidable enemy,” he said.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com



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  • Martin Katchen on May 07 2013 said:
    Could those missiles that the Syrians were sending to Hezbollah have been intended to have been used against Israeli oil platforms in the Mediteranean? Or at the very least to scare away investors in Israeli offshore gas? That is a pertinent question.
    Israeli oil and gas reserves are the biggest game changer for Israel since the country became independent. What they mean is that Israel no longer is dependent on the spot oil market and it's military cannot be stopped by interruptions in oil shipments. In other words, once Israel completely integrates its new gas reserves (and possibly it's oil shale reserves), not only is it an oil exporter, but it is a normal country, no longer beholden to the United Nations or the United States and no longer required to observe UN ceasefires r limited to whatever military objectives it can attain in offensives of two weeks in length. Israel will be able to make war like a normal country in the Middle East and will be completely free to behave exactly like everybody else in the area, limited only by it's own internal political dynamics.Maybe that's why even Sunni nations such as Turkey are up in arms about these Israeli airsrikes.

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