Monday, May 6, 2013

Syria's crisis is good for Israel!

"... But the Arab Spring, which has left the Syrian regime mired in a bloody civil war the past two years, has also increased Israel's freedom of operation to levels not seen in years. After all, the Syrian military is in decline and has lost some of its firepower. What's more, it is now singularly focused on the survival of the Assad regime as it counters the rebels. Thus, its ability to retaliate in the face of an Israeli strike has been severely compromised.And so, Assad needs every soldier, tank or missile he has in this life-or-death match-up with the rebels.Assad knows full well that a country that can hit targets with such precision in the Damascus area can also inflict substantial damage on the military infrastructure he so desperately needs as he fights the rebels. In fact, Assad has made enormous strides in the fighting in recent weeks, to the point that he has regained control over several areas. The scenario in which he comes out on top and stays in power can no longer be ruled out.It appears it is actually Hezbollah that faces a dilemma. By introducing new rules, Israel hopes to disconnect it from the Syrian oxygen tank that Hassan Nasrallah has relied on for so many years.Hezbollah is gradually becoming entangled in the Syrian quagmire; this is clearly evident by the almost daily funerals it holds for some of its best fighters. The organization certainly does not want to open another front with Israel. By the same token, it won't hold its fire forever in the face of Israel's efforts to impose tougher rules on its arm shipments.The Arab Spring has thus provided Israel with an opportunity to change the rules of the game in Syria and Lebanon.Israel exploited this new reality rather belatedly, after Hezbollah had already acquired tens of thousands of advanced missiles. But better late than never.In any event, even after things quiet down on the Syrian front, this calm will only last until the next Hezbollah-bound shipment of advanced weaponry or until the organization and its Iranian patron decide they can no longer abide by Israel's new rules."

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