Publicado: Lun, May 14, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Eleven Iranians among dead in Israel strikes on Syria Thursday

Eleven Iranians among dead in Israel strikes on Syria Thursday

Daniel Douek teaches political science at Concordia University and McGill University.

The episode came hours after Trump announced the US would be pulling out of the Obama-era, multination Iran nuclear deal. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel had retaliated with its largest strike in Syria since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, and that Israel had hit "nearly all" Iranian military facilities in Syria. On Thursday, a member of Iran's Security Council warned that Iran's "revenge will come". "Second, such a strike can provoke more large-scale strikes from Israel and affect negatively the talks with European countries regarding the nuclear deal with Iran", Lyamin continued.

Iran says Israel's repeated attacks are based on "fabricated" reasons. Hezbollah may be willing to send advisers and soldiers to fight in Syria alongside the Shiite militias and the Revolutionary Guard, but it's in no hurry to entangle Lebanon in the conflict.

Iran vowed to respond and since then there have been sporadic incidents that appear to be Israeli efforts to thwart just such a response.

Israel will not permit Syria to be turned into an Iranian forward base and a manufacturing center for precision-guided missiles.

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It will be a war mainly with missiles from Iran and Hezbollah versus Israel's air force.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran had "crossed a red line" and that Israel's bombardment against targets in Syria was "a consequence". Without Russia's support, Iran's position in Syria is precarious. It said it hit targets near the capital, in southern and central Syria, targeting weapons storage, logistics sites and intelligence centers used by elite Iranian forces in Syria.

Iran could directly attack Israel or alternatively activate its proxy Hezbollah. In its initial stages, it would be Israeli air power against the long-range missile forces of Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

Iran, then, will probably attack directly. But such attacks, while spectacular, do nothing to improve Iran's strategic predicament.

It seems, though, that having a stable Syria as a neighbor would be more important to Israel than any short-term goal achieved in striking Iranian forces - who, for better or worse, are fighting ISIS and other extremists groups. In the longer term, hardliners in the Iranian government will nearly certainly resume Iran's nuclear-weapons development program to match Israel's nuclear arsenal.

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