Israel destroys half of Syrian Air Defenses

Alicia Cross
February 20, 2018

Members of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement pictured November 8, 2017.

"Earlier this week, Iranian-backed militias in southern Syria launched a drone into Israeli territory", she said at the beginning of her remarks, calling it "an egregious and unprompted escalation". Trump tweeted a complaint about his predecessors "stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East", which couldn't be reassuring for the Israelis since he said the day before that he didn't think Israel is really interested in peace with the Palestinians.

One is the outbreak of another war between Israel and its neighbors. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (has) affirmed that the US seeks not only to ensure its allies" security but to deny Iran its "dreams of a northern arch' from Tehran to Beirut. Israel was telling Russian Federation that it would not stand handtied as Moscow ignored efforts by Syria and Hizbullah to expand their military might.

Iran has tens of thousands of troops in Syria, along with allied militias, and the use of the drone February 10 may indicate an increasing willingness to open a military front on Israel's border. Syria, an ally of Iran, retaliated by downing one of the Israeli F-16 jets that had struck the drone launcher.

"It is clear that the principle Iranian policy is that the territorial integrity of all nation states should be preserved". One has been released from the hospital and the other is recovering. The Israelis used an Apache helicopter to intercept and destroy the drone, then sent eight fighter jets to destroy the Iranian command center.

The Air Force launched an immediate retaliatory strike against the facility from which the drone was piloted, deep inside Syria.

Yes, the Assad regime would remain in power, and Iran and Russian Federation would maintain their influence in Syria.

While large areas of the country have stabilized, giving the impression of a war that is winding down, violence has exploded in other areas with renewed ferocity, killing and injuring hundreds of people in a new and unpredictable spiral of bloodshed. Its leaders still have regrets about the brinksmanship that last got Hezbollah entangled in a war with Israel. On the regional level, Israel's activities on the Syrian front may confuse ongoing efforts to impose stability on Syria. Iran provides Assad's regime with funding, and Hezbollah has been fighting on Assad's side in his civil war against a range of opposition groups.

Numerous smaller Arab nations have been nervously watching Iran. By causing heavy damage to Syrian defense infrastructure but not going "all the way" and completely decimating all air defense units, Israel is well positioned to deter future incursions into its airspace.

The concern is that Hezbollah will use those weapons to attack Israel. The Israelis must also bloody the Iranians badly enough to compel Tehran to withdraw from Syria. Iran now has the capability of deploying troops into Iraq and Syria, effectively creating a land bridge all the way to Lebanon. Using those bases, either Iran or Hezbollah could attack Israel, opening up another front in their conflict. "When we see the Assad regime starving civilians in eastern Ghouta or pummeling schools and hospitals in Idlib, we see advisers from Iran and Hezbollah helping direct those atrocities". "A broader war could be one miscalculation away".

Israel will continue to act to ensure its security interests, while coordinating with Russian Federation.

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With the Syrian rebels on the run and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gaining momentum, Iran is seeking to rewrite the "rules of the game" governing Israel's actions in Syria.

Moreover, in recent months Iranian policy-suspending patrol boat harassment of USA warships-appears crafted to ease tensions and provide no new causes for Trump to abandon the nuclear deal Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani regards as his legacy. "And this demonstrates that our warnings were 100% correct".

Israel and Syria have a long history of conflicts over the disputed Golan Heights. But were this weekend's strikes the opening shots of another war? They fought against both Israeli troops and various Lebanese political factions.

"[The ministry spokesman] said he hoped the operation would immediately come to an end in order to prevent the deepening of the crisis in northern Syria".

"Time for Western world to recognize Iran for the regional menace that it is, and Europe must sharply change course - toward Iran's regional aggression and its nuclear aspirations", she tweeted last week.

What outcome would justify another USA war in a region where all the previous wars in this century have left us bleeding, bankrupt, divided, and disillusioned?

The US supports Israel's actions - but some say it should do more. Now would be a good time to test whether $3.8 billion in annual US aid to Israel buys any influence at all.

In July 2017, US President Donald Trump announced the end of Central Intelligence Agency support for the Syrian rebels.

"According to our preliminary, I emphasize, preliminary estimates, about 50 percent of the Syrian Air Defense Forces were destroyed". But the United States official delusion that America can call the shots in Syria by choosing who rules, and with which allies, would end. He is a former Clinton administration official and spokesman at the State Department's USAID.

Tillerson's stops include Amman, Ankara, Cairo, Kuwait City and Beirut, but not Jerusalem.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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