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Syrian President Assad. 'A threatened leader usually acts out of madness rather than out of reason' Photo: AFP
Syrian President Assad. 'A threatened leader usually acts out of madness rather than out of reason' Photo: AFP
 
 

Falling into Assad's trap

Op-ed: Israel's military activities in Syria could easily turn into match that will ignite next war

Orly Azoulay
Published: 05.06.13, 20:21 / Israel Opinion

Syria has officially announced that it sees the Israeli strike as a declaration of war. It's safe to assume that Assad, whose regime is becoming shakier with every that goes by, will not rush to direct his missile launchers towards Israel. But the strike will definitely stabilize him in the eyes of his people. At times of an external crisis, the inclination of a nation – any nation – is to unite around its existing leader.

 

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When the Syrian nation hears from its leaders about the graveness of the danger approaching the country from the direction of Israel (which is setting warehouses on fire on its territory), even the rebels will take a break – and so the Israeli warplanes, which went on a mission beyond enemy lines, could be the ones connecting Assad to the governing breathing machine and allowing him to survive a bit more.

 

Iran regularly transfers missiles and ammunition to Hezbollah, and the smuggling route crosses Syria's territory. Why did the Israeli government decide now of all times to attack the weapons, which according to foreign reports are not the most dangerous arms to be transferred over the years from Iran to Hezbollah?

 

Just like it marked targets in Gaza in the past, it appears that Israel is now marking them in Syria: Targeted killings around Damascus. Yet the difference is that Hamas in Gaza doesn't have an organized army, while Assad has thousands of missiles directed at Tel Aviv. In the current situation, Assad doesn't have much to lose as his regime is unstable.

 

A threatened leader usually acts out of madness rather than out of reason, and so Israel's military activities in Syria could easily turn into the match that will ignite the next war, even if that was not our intention. Within several days we could find ourselves inside mud which we didn’t plan and have been avoiding throughout the revolutions rising in the countries surrounding us.

 

With such an explosive situation in Syria, there is no wonder that the United States, as well as the rest of the countries of the free world, have decided to sit idly by and not to intervene for the time being, to sit and to plan a much more reasonable operation.

 

 

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