IDF soldier in the Golan overlooking Syria 370 (R).
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS / Reuters)
Israel is following the possibility of the transfer of Syria's chemical weapons
to radical elements, as its neighbor to the north appears to be gradually
approaching a final meltdown.
With dozens of storage and production sites
for chemical weapons spread out across Syria, any foreign involvement would
require extensive planning, intelligence and resources to succeed.
are two scenarios that Israel deems unacceptable in Syria. The first is a
transfer of chemical weapons and advanced strategic missiles to Hezbollah, and
the second involves raids by al-Qaida-affiliated rebel groups, like Jabhat
al-Nusra, on a Syrian chemical weapons depot.
Neither radical Shi'ite nor
extremist Sunni groups will be permitted to lay their hands on unconventional
weapons in Syria.
It may also become necessary to inject special forces
into the arena, to ensure that sites containing Sarin, mustard gas compounds and
VX nerve agents are no longer a threat.
What remains unclear is whether
Israel will take the lead, or whether the US will become involved and carry out
air strikes if necessary. The potential role of the US's regional allies, like
Turkey and Jordan, also remains unclear.
Either way, Israel is taking no
It is no coincidence that as Syrian rebels continued to make
progress in their war against the regime's forces, the IDF stationed two Iron
air defense batteries in the North on Sunday. It seems fair to assume that
the move is just one of a series of preparations, most of them covert, for the
possibility of escalations with Syria.
Whether the US or Israel end up
making a move, the response by President Bashar Assad¹s regime if it is still
able to respond by the time of a strike will likely be the
Missile fire would be directed at Israel and US targets in the
Complicating the picture is Iran¹s threat this week that any
attack on Syria would be seen by Tehran
as an attack on itself. This posturing
is designed to deter any intervention in Syrian affairs, but could end up
dragging Iran and its proxy Hezbollah into a new conflict with anyone who takes
action in Syria.