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With Syria Strikes, Israel Atempts to Send a Message to Trump and Putin

Tony Badran
5th December 2017 - Quoted by Matthew R.J. Brodsky - The Weekly Standard

When it comes to Syria, Israel has a message and the government hopes a wider audience is listening. It was delivered in the form of two strikes inside Syria over the last week. By itself, an Israeli strike inside Syria is nothing extraordinary. The Israelis have long broadcasted their red lines in Syria and have acted to enforce them. In August, a former Israeli air force commander said that it had carried out dozens of airstrikes on weapons convoys destined for Hezbollah over the past five years. Nevertheless, despite the war on its doorstep, Jerusalem has largely stayed out of the fray.

What makes this latest round unique is the timing, the target choice, and the pointed warning that preceded it. Late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad himself that Israel will depart from its overall policy of non-intervention in the six-year-old conflict if he “invites Iranian forces to establish themselves in Syria via an agreement of any kind.”

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In Jerusalem, all of this was viewed as a slow-motion train wreck heading in their direction. Israel already must contend with Iran entrenched politically and militarily in Lebanon in the form of Hezbollah. America’s current pro-Iran policy in Lebanon is of no help either, as I explained in THE WEEKLY STANDARD in August, and it remains uncorrected. As Levant specialist, Tony Badran of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, recently put it more artfully: “This is not policy. This is poetry.”

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Tags

iran, israel, russia, syria, turkey