For three years, Israel has done a tremendous job of denying two things to the Iranians: further military buildup in Syria, and the delivery of weapons to Hezbollah.
In short: don’t mess with Israel.
This week, Russia ratcheted-up the tensions by announcing the delivery to the Syrians of an anti-missile system known as S-300. This comes on the heels of the shooting down of a Russian plane on September 17, in which 15 Russians were killed. They blame Israel, while Israel blames Syria and Iran.
This is Russia’s war-by-proxy with Israel. Very ominous, since the two sides haven’t engaged in the region since the Yom Kippur War. Then, as in the Six Day War, it is an open secret that Israeli pilots engaged Russian MiG fighters. The latter lost.
Soon, Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Donald Trump for the fifth time. He has also been in contact with Russian strongman Putin. It is heartening that Israel has a leader who will not place others above his no. 1 priority of protecting the citizenry of his own country.
“We will continue to act to prevent the Iranian military build up in Syria and to continue with the security coordination between the IDF and the Russian army,” he said.
It must be kept in mind that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is truly under threat by neighbors. It is true that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Gulf States are worried about Iran. But Israel is the only one that is confined to narrow and small borders, while facing a potentially lethal threat. This time from the north.
Yet, let us consider how amazing the geopolitical situation is now in Israel. They have a solid working relationship with Egypt, whose military leader el-Sisi seems not to be a Jew-hating warlord along the lines of Nasser.
Also, though I take a more negative view of Jordan’s King Abdullah than some, Jordan is no threat to Israel. Iraq is also, for the time being, no longer a real military threat to Israel.
That leaves the north. And all the good news doesn’t negate the fact that two of the worst regimes on the planet are cooperating in Syria. That is indeed problematic for Israel.
The most important factor though is that the Israelis have not and will not back down. They will not allow Iran any real foothold.
It is very problematic that where the “militant” controlled town of Idlib is concerned, Russia, Iran, and Turkey are negotiating the status of that place. Isn’t that amazing? Syria’s Bashar Assad has no real authority or control in his own country, so three menacing powers are doing it for him. Can’t bode well for Syrian independence going forward.
American forces are operating east of the Euphrates, and of course the Iranians are demanding their removal. The forces are a serious deterrent and President Trump and his team are to be commended for committing troops for stability. Trump is working closely with the Israelis to limit the damage that can be done by Iran and others.
I believe the Big Three of Russia, Turkey, and Iran would love to carve-up Syria. Russia of course has long coveted a warm-weather seaport, so a presence along the Mediterranean coast would fit the bill. Iran would love a chunk of territory in the east. For these reasons and many others, it’s vital to the security of the region that they remain opposed by Israel and America.
It remains a lesson for all of us not to project too far ahead. It is fascinating to think that, for example, Iran’s regime could be overthrown by the people. At the same time, that might give Iraq an opening to reassert itself in the region.
God knows what will happen. In the meantime, we have a front-row seat to all the great end-times prophecies.
We are blessed.