IDF troops on the Golan Heights

Iran's restraint over Israeli attacks could change in a heartbeat

The Iranian regime is preoccupied by protesters at home, in Iraq and in Lebanon all threatening the Republic's hegemony and demanding regime change, risking its grand Mideast strategy

Alex Fishman |
Published: 11.23.19 , 19:07
Only the citizens of Israel continue to be surprised every time there is a rocket strike from Syria.
These attacks are usually a result of an event or events that had previously gone unreported - someone killed someone else or bombed something.
משוריין של צה"למשוריין של צה"ל
IDF troops on the Golan Heights
(Photo: AFP)
The target hit is seeking revenge and the perpetrator is poised to receive incoming fire.
It would be safe to assume, therefore, that the IDF was less surprised by events overnight when Israel struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria, killing dozens.
The Iron Dome missile defense system operators, who intercepted the four rockets fired from Syria in the skies over the Golan Heights, were not caught unprepared nor were they deployed to the area for no good reason.
Over the past few months, Israel had learned that silence is conducive to its ongoing success and that less showboating is advisable.
Israel's silence is not an indication of quiet. Behind the scenes, much is going on.
בניינים שנפגעו בתקיפת צה"ל בדמשק בניינים שנפגעו בתקיפת צה"ל בדמשק
Damage caused by an IAF strike in Damascus
Events could get out of hand and we may wake up one morning to find that our border with Syria has become a battlefield.
Still, the IDF would not be surprised. In fact, the military would have a very good idea of why things had taken that kind of a turn for the worse.
The fact that the defense establishment announced they are lifting any restrictions on civilian daily lives along the border, immediately after the rockets from Syria were intercepted Wednesday, indicates that officials estimate the Iranians are not interested in a broad and expensive military campaign against Israel, that is sure to cost them dearly in both lives and resources.
תיעוד תקיפת צה"ל בדמשק תיעוד תקיפת צה"ל בדמשק
Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria
Iran is embroiled in numerous crises at home, in Iraq and in Lebanon. Israel is not on its list of top priorities.
The Islamic Republic's regime is preoccupied with maintaining the pro-Iranian status quo that was established at great expense and much effort.
The growing public outcry in Iraq, demanding the ouster of the pro-Iranian government and for Iran's influence over that country to be checked, threatens that country's entire Middle East strategy.
עיראק מפגינים נגד איראןעיראק מפגינים נגד איראן
An anti-Iran demonstration in Iraq
(Photo: MCT)
Iran will most likely have to use force in Iraq and may even have to assign Shi'ite forces away from Syria in order to do so. These would be the same forces that were dispatched initially to threaten Israel.
If Iraq falls, it will not only be a critical financial asset that has fallen but also the vital land corridor that connects Iran to Syria and from there to the Lebanese ports along the Mediterranean.
If that were to happen, Iran would no longer be able to threaten Israel from Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile back home, violent demonstrations continue, while the economic crisis has already caused a loss of 10% of the country's wealth.

 An Iranian bank that was set on fire by demonstrators  An Iranian bank that was set on fire by demonstrators
An Iranian bank that was set on fire by demonstrators
(Photo: EPA)
Israel remains a bitter rival of the regime, but a confrontation can wait.
Even so, the Quds force led by ‎Qasem Soleimani can still turn the tide towards conflict.
If his people continue to transport game-changing weapon systems, Israel will attack.
Should the Islamic Republic decide to respond with more than four rockets fired at the Golan Heights and target strategic assets in the center of the country, they would be risking a regional conflict.
Such a scenario is possible at any time and will surely surprise the residents on the Israeli side of Golan. But perhaps not the Israeli army.

Talkbacks for this article 0