Israel’s stake in Lebanon and Syria

Apparently some of Israel’s friends and enemies in the West are concerned that Israel might become involved in the conflicts in Syria and Lebanon  The situation in Lebanon has not yet become an open war like the civil war of the 1980’s, but it has become another part of the overall Muslim Shia-Sunni split.  One must take note of the fact that Shia Iran has been pushing to take more control in Lebanon thru its proxy Hizbollah, and it has of course been supporting Pres. Assad in his war against his opponents in Syria.  One of Iran’s war aims is to extend their control to the Golan Heights and develop a military platform there from which to mount a significant attack on Israel.  So before anyone condemns Israel for taking action in this theater of war, they should acknowledge that it is Iran that is the aggressor and Israel might be forced to take defensive action.

This situation has become more dangerous with the virtual defection of the PM of Lebanon Sa’ad Hariri to Saudi Arabia, fearing assassination by Iran, as his father was assassinated by the Syrians.  This move is interpreted as the Saudi Arabian future King Mohammed bin Salman flexing his muscles and preparing the security situation for his ascension and his intention of taking on the Iranians.  As the leader of the Sunni camp Saudi Arabia has been active in counter-attacking the Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen and is now turning his attention to the deteriorating situation vis-a-vis Lebanon and Syria.  He has also arrested dozens of Saudi leaders in an attempt to solidify his support.

But, the Saudi military is not really capable of facing off against the Iranians, Hizbollah and the Syrian Army.  They will need strong allies committed to their side, and the only ones that are available are the US, Israel and possibly the Kurds.  Were Israel to make a joint coalition with the Saudis and other Sunni States (Egypt, Kuwait, the UAE) against Shia Iran, then it must expect a significant reward.  This might be in the form of Arab recognition of Israel as a legitimate sovereign State in their midst.  However, this is projecting to a point we haven’t yet reached.  But the signs are there that this is the way things are going.  Iran is not going to back down and neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia can continue to exist and allow this situation to fester.

 

 

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