Israeli air attacks near the Syrian capital Damascus have changed the dynamics of insecurity for the whole region, as Syria’s civil war transforms into a cross-border conflict.
Israel said it struck stores of Iranian missiles bound for Iran’s Hezbollah allies in Syria. Even though Israel has to plan for whoever might eventually replace the regime of Syrian President Assad, officials have said Israel is pursuing its own conflict – not with Syria but with Iran.
Iran, Syria and Lebanon form what has been dubbed a Shiite Crescent alliance. Israel must avoid Hezbollah getting missiles that might strike Tel Aviv if Israel attacks Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Israel has denied it is taking the side of Syria’s Sunni rebels, and it has proved it will do what it sees as necessary to prevent Hezbollah from getting heavier weapons.
But analyst Alon Liel said it has an additional, wider communication challenge: “If somebody in the region, especially in Syria or Lebanon, understands these attacks as a direct intervention in the civil war, it might be a real problem for Israel.”
Syria’s allies want Israel’s actions to be seen as intervention in the civil war. Before the raids, the leader of Hezbollah warned: “Syria has real friends in the region and the wider world who will not allow the country to fall into American or Israeli hands.”
An Iranian former commander of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard unit, Hossein Kanami Moghaddam, said: “As Syria’s strategic ally, Iran might send troops to Syria if Israel launched a bigger military attack on Syria. Iran can do that.”
Regional expansion of the Syria conflict is also high in ordinary people’s minds. Activists in the Palestinian city Ramallah said attacking Syria is tantamount to attacking all Arab countries.
Many analysts have said that Assad could ultimately benefit if more players got involved militarily in Syria’s conflict. Egypt, for one, condemned Israel’s air strikes as a breach of international law that it said “made the situation more complicated”.
Another complication is that, according to war crimes investigator Carla del Ponte with the UN, Syrian rebels may have used the nerve agent sarin. She did not rule out that Assad’s forces may also have used chemical weapons. Washington has made such use a ‘red line’, the crossing of which it said would meet an active response.
- 1Migrants with tickets denied access to Budapest train station
- 2Satellite images show ISIL destruction in Palmyra
- 3‘No person is illegal’ – Vienna holds rally for refugees
- 4Ukraine: deputies explain for and against the decentralisation law
- 5Hungary’s hardline stance on refugees ‘benefits’ people smugglers
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 3Caught red-handed: the Russian Major fighting in Ukraine
- 4Video footage shows massive explosion in Tianjin, China
- 5Momentum for Mars: Astronauts say mission is inevitable
- 6Ukraine puts top Russian general Gerasimov on ‘most wanted’ list
- 7Latest News Bulletin
- 8Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin
- 9Who came out top in the US Republican television debate?
- 10Why World Elephant Day matters
- 11International news | euronews, latest international news
- 12UK: at least 7 dead after plane crashes into road in Brighton
- 13Virginia:TV journalist and cameraman shot dead live on air
- 14ISIL militant group claims to have killed Croatian hostage in Egypt
- 15Earth Overshoot Day…Pushing Mother Nature too far
- 16Windows 10, three weeks on: the good, the bad and the ugly
- 17Bringing the trolls out of the dark: Russian ‘troll’ awarded 1 rouble damages
- 18As ‘Daily Show’ Jon Stewart’s tenure ends, scholars say goodbye to their research topic
- 19European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 20Scientists find sinkhole cave under Mexico’s Kukulkan Castle Pyramid
Wires > News
- 16:26 CET Lebanon’s interior minister warns protesters against sit-ins
- 15:30 CET Farmers head hundreds of tractors for Paris in protest
- 15:22 CET Hundreds of migrants protest at Budapest station, want to go to…
- 15:15 CET Sixty-one infants die at Indian hospital in just two weeks
- 15:03 CET Russia says will respond in kind to new U.S. sanctions over Ukraine
- 14:59 CET Car bomb in coastal stronghold of Syria’s Assad kills at least 10…
- 14:50 CET Netanyahu threatens to shoot young Palestinian stone-throwers
- 14:47 CET Labour appointment puts French women ministers in majority