With the Iranian threat looming in the background all eyes are focused on events as the civil war continues in Syria. Accompanying that country’s internal conflict is stepped-up effort to transfer advanced and non-conventional weapons to Hizbullah. This for Israel is a ‘red line’ and it has already resulted in a number of bombing raids in Syria which are being attributed to the Israel Air Force.
Over Shavuos two mortar shells fired from Syria landed in the Golan Heights. While an organization calling itself “Halal Abd al-Qader al-Husseini” boasted responsibility for the mortar attack, Israeli officials attributed the rocket fire to “spillover” from the ongoing conflict between government and rebel forces. The Israeli response was limited to filing a complaint with the United Nations regional commander.
However, while the benign statements were released to the media by officials, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz convened a strategy session with senior officers to discuss possible responses and intelligence community assessments as to the likelihood of a Syrian response and to evaluate the severity of Damascus’ response. After the two aerial assaults in Syria were attributed to Israel in recent weeks, the Syrian Presidential Mansion released a message that another Israeli attack would be met with a Syrian military response.
In the interim, the IDF continues to fortify its position in the Golan in advance of a possible conflict with Syria and Hizbullah. Of late, Iron Dome rocket intercept batteries were placed in Tzfas and Haifa.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)