web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Syrian Rebels in Control of Border Area with Israel

Although the wider regional implications of Assad's pending collapse remain unknown, the fall of the Alawite regime will undoubtedly strike a major blow to Iran.
Syrian rebels attack the municipal building in Selehattin, near Aleppo

Syrian rebels have taken control of the border with Israel and are consolidating their presence in the area, according to Israeli defense sources.

One source said that the rebels managed to oust the Syrian military from the area after months of battles, which on occasion saw shells and bullets fired over the border into Israel.

The rebels, according to the source, have spent recent weeks consolidating their shaky control of the border.

The development is one of a growing number of signs that the Assad regime is on its last legs.

The IDF has been readying itself for a “changing of the guard” on the Syrian side of the border. As a result, from the IDF’s standpoint, no operational changes are currently necessary.

The IDF is not resting on its laurels – quite the opposite. As another IDF source put it this week, “Our finger is on the pulse.” In short, the IDF is ready to respond to any incident.

As some of the rebel groups are heavily armed radical Islamists, Israel must now be on high alert for terror attacks on the Golan Heights.

In addition, Israel remains deeply concerned by the danger of Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels trying to seize control of chemical weapons, ballistic missiles, or other strategic weapons.

Israel has adopted a “wait-and-see” policy, but has indicated it will not tolerate any attacks from the jihadi component of the Syrian rebel groups.

The Israeli defense community is not displaying overt concern about the scenario of a chemical attack directed by Assad at Israel as a desperate last-ditch move to ignite the region. The threat that is keeping defense officials up at night is what might happen to those weapons after the Assad regime’s collapse.

As the former Israel Air Force commander Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ido Nehushtan said this week, the fact that the largest chemical weapons possessor in the Middle East – if not the world – is falling apart, creates a nightmarish security situation, not just for Israel or the Middle East, but rather, for the whole world.

With radical Sunni and Shi’ite [Hezbollah] forces freely running around in the country, a failure to secure or destroy the weapons could lead to terrorists getting hold of weapons of mass destruction.

Hence, it remains likely that the international community, or Israel, or both will have to activate contingency plans to secure – or destroy — the chemical weapons upon Assad’s collapse.

Israeli intelligence reports note the heavy and ongoing involvement of Hezbollah and Iran in propping up the dying Assad regime.

Iran provides training and arms to the regime’s beleaguered forces, while Hezbollah provides highly trained combat forces to assist the Syrian army in its battles against the rebels, as well as its massacre of Syrian Sunni civilians.

Although the wider regional implications of Assad’s pending collapse remain unknown, the fall of the Alawite regime will undoubtedly strike a major blow to Iran’s strategic standing. Tehran will lose its main regional ally, and its link to its powerful Shi’ite proxy, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah has no choice but to prepare to face a new reality without its key ally in Damascus.

It will also have to face some serious domestic hurdles in the form of a Lebanese Sunni population (and other sectarian groups), emboldened by the success of Syrian Sunnis against Assad.

A growing number of Lebanese are finding the courage to voice their frustration with Hezbollah’s monopoly of military power and its shadow state in southern Lebanon.

The growing sectarian tensions in Lebanon and their linkage to events in Syria are like a trail of gasoline between the two countries. Lebanon could easily be set alight by the flames in next-door Syria. Sparks have already been seen in Tripoli, where Sunni gunmen engage in lethal battles with Alawite supporters of Assad.

The Syrian conflict has also seriously dented the alliance between Iran and Hamas, with Tehran diverting resources away from Hamas and towards the Islamic Jihad, its closest proxy in the Gaza Strip, in the wake of Hamas’s backing of the Syrian rebels. Relations between the two have not, however, been terminally damaged, and Hamas continues to rely on Iranian rockets and logistical assistance.

If the Syrian civil war has had such a dramatic effect on the region before the collapse of Assad, it is possible to contemplate the enormous effect a headless Syria will have after Assad’s fall.

The power vacuum in Syria, and the scramble by various groups to fill it, will send waves of instability and chaos throughout the area.

Syria’s neighbors are bracing themselves.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

About the Author: Yaakov Lappin is a journalist for the Jerusalem Post, where he covers police and national security affairs, and author of the book The Virtual Caliphate. He is also a visiting fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Syrian Rebels in Control of Border Area with Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party.
Lapid Won’t Let Defense Demands Turn Into ‘Turkish Bazaar’
Latest Indepth Stories
Donny-Fuchs-medium

Originally scheduled to be held elsewhere, the hotel canceled, pressured by local missionary groups

syria_stratfo

It’s likely that some of the rebel factions, including US clients, have indeed made pacts with ISIS

Phyllis Chesler

Imam Tafsirli of the Harlem Islamic center: “You cannot be a Muslim without believing in Jesus”

Gas Pump

If simple fuel choice were implemented, the power of petroleum and those who sell it would cease.

Value of IS: It enables people to see the place to which all other Islamist fascism is headed.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

President Obama: “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents”

he time of the Uman pilgrimage is upon us, and we dare not ignore the opportunity to highlight the danger.

Healing requires that the victim be validated for being harmed and the guilty assume responsibility.

During the war, not once was Hashem’s name mentioned to the nation by Israel’s PM or gov’t officials

How many illegal Arab structures are there in the city? Why are they not being destroyed?

We did not win the war in Gaza because we are still captive to the concept of the 2 state solution.

Trapped in a false notion of power, America will lose the battle in the same way Israel now loses.

It’s a cliché, but nonetheless true that 9/11 changed my life. There is evil in the world. Our grandparents were right.

More Articles from Yaakov Lappin
Islamic Jihad blames Israel for breaking the ceasefire because it did not accept terrorists' demands to destroy Israel.

There are also 4,000 or so members of smaller well-armed Gazan terror groups, not just Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

A little girl holds a Hezbollah flag during a rally in Beirut, Lebanon.

One out of every ten homes in Lebanon now has a rocket launcher or Hezbollah weapons stored in it, according to Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Home Front Defense Minister.

Iran might well conclude that the sanctions could disappear in the course of endless rounds of diplomacy.

Jihad will spread outwards to the region, then threaten global security — possibly with biological and chemical weapons.

Near the Sinai peninsula, the Israeli Defense Forces continue on high alert, watching every suspicious movement in the sands near the Egyptian border for signs of the next attack.

As thousands of radical jihadis have moved into Syria and the Sinai, Israel is perfecting its ability to neutralize these targets.

Israel, which is more threatened by Iran’s nuclear program than is the U.S., has less time to make its up mind on how and when to proceed to avert a threat to its existence.

The Russian Yakhont missiles already delivered to Syria threaten Israel Navy ships carrying out vital missions in the Mediterranean.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/syrian-rebels-in-control-of-border-area-with-israel/2012/12/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: