Golan Heights: Scene of new turmoil between Syria, Israel
- Author: Leroy Wright May 13, 2018,
May 13, 2018, 21:51
Tehran is wary of a wider military conflagration with Israel that could jeopardize its military achievements in Syria at a time when it is trying to salvage the global nuclear deal and may be limited in its ability to strike back. As that war winds down, and Assad appears to be headed toward victory, Israel fears that Iran, along with tens of thousands of Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen, will carry out attacks against Israel.
"We will not let Iran turn Syria into a forward base against Israel", the Israeli defense minister said. Specifically, Israel would need to use so-called "bunker buster" bombs, which are created to penetrate deep underground facilities which make up the bulk of Iran's nuclear and high-tech military programs. Israel's massive aerial attacks earlier today on Iranians and Syrians - its most extensive cross-border strikes in decades - are carrying out this propaganda strategy to perfection, and even normally skeptical news outlets are being fooled.
In retaliation, Israel has targeted Iranian weapons depots, logistic sites and intelligence centres in Syria.
Tension has been building.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate halt to "all hostile acts" to avoid "a new conflagration" in the Middle East after Israeli forces bombed Iranian targets inside Syria.
On April 9 missiles targeted the T-4 air base in the central province of Homs, killing up to 14 fighters, including seven Iranians, two days after an alleged chemical attack carried out by the Syrian regime.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran had "crossed a red line" and that Israel's bombardment against targets in Syria was "a consequence". The deal, implemented by President Obama and strongly supported by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, prevented Iran from producing and purifying the uranium necessary for offensive nuclear weapons. Many Iraqis fear escalating tensions between the US and Iran will destabilize Iraq just as the country is starting to recover.
All five have condemned Trump's move to walk out of the deal and reimpose crippling sanctions, but European companies in particular will be highly vulnerable to economic pressure from Washington.
The 2015 nuclear deal imposed restrictions on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program in return for the lifting of most of the USA and global sanctions against Tehran.
France still hopes for a wider settlement that will cover Iran's activities across the Middle East, and warned Tehran on Thursday "against any temptation for regional dominance". The two countries were the main allies of the United States in the region, and Iranian oil was shipped to Israel during the 1973 war.
They also see a rare chance for Iran to hold the moral high ground. However, the regime faces a "determined Israel" that's doing everything to make sure Iran does not have a military stronghold in the neighboring nation.
The IDF published a series of aerial images on its official Twitter account, showing the purported Iranian positions in Syria that the Israeli forces had hit in the overnight raid.
Confronted by Iranian-allied Hezbollah on its northern border, Israel also faces another enemy to the south with Hamas in Gaza. In Lebanon, Hezbollah would stand ready to support its patron Iran.