A new agreement between Russia and the United States to police southern Syria has Israel concerned, writes former IDF general Yossi Kuperwasser.
First, it allows Iran to keep its troops in southern Syria. Second, it allows Bashar Assad to stay in power. Kuperwasser says the Iranians plan to use their position in Syria to build a military base there against Israel, much as they have done in Lebanon. They also plan to use their position in Syria to ship more weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. All of this is part of their stated goal to destroy the Jewish state.
For the Islamist regime in Iran, their interests in Syria go far beyond strategic. It is part of its ideology. The entire regime is committed to spreading its version of Islam, turning Iran into the hegemonic force of the Middle East and Muslim world and bringing about the end of the Jewish State. The taking over of Syria goes hand-in-hand with the Iranian regime’s efforts in Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, and elsewhere in the Arab world. Therefore, Iran will not show any readiness to leave Syria unless the price for staying there becomes very high.
Expect Israel to act, Kuperwasser says, if Iran violates the stated rules of the game.
As always, Israel will have to take care of its interests first of all by itself. It is, therefore, no surprise that given this situation, Israel exposed its “Good Neighbor” program, under which it supplies humanitarian aid to the Syrian population in the Golan Heights. By doing so, Israel sent a message that left alone, it will find ways to protect its interests in Syria.
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