As fighting raged in Syria, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak disclosed that he had asked the military to prepare for a possible attack on Syrian targets to secure strategic weapons if the Assad regime collapses. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a similar threat to attack Syria.
Israeli officials also threatened to occupy what’s left of Syria’s Golan Heights to supposedly prevent the area from turning into a “terrorist haven.” Today, Israeli heavy artillery in Golan is only 40 miles from Damascus.
Is Washington giving Israel a green light to attack Syria as a consolation prize for delaying an attack against Iran? Overthrowing the Assad government has become an obsession in Washington. US neoconservatives and many bellicose Republicans chant that the road to Tehran runs through Damascus.
Further raising the temperature, Turkey is threatening to occupy a heavily Kurdish chunk of northern Syria which it claims is being used to launch attacks into Turkey. Why Turkey is thinking about acquiring additional rebellious Kurds when it can’t handle its own remains unclear. But formerly neutral Turkey is getting more deeply involved each day in Syria, arming and supplying anti-Assad rebels and now rumbling about border “security zones.” Ankara’s machinations regarding Syria threaten to undo much of the success of its former “no problems” policy with its neighbors.
The US, France, Turkey, and Israel have all finalized their contingency plans for attacking Syria. The biggest winner in such a scenario would be Israel, as it was in the US war against Iraq. Sending Syria into deeper turmoil would eliminate the most important supporter of the Palestinians’ resistance, cut off Hezbollah, leave it vulnerable to a final assault, and isolate Iran.
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