News you may have missed #822 (Israeli airstrikes on Syria)

Mapping of the Israeli airstrikes in SyriaBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►Should we be preparing for another Mideast war? Assad may not want a war with Israel, but Tehran could have other calculations. Over the weekend, Iran warned that it would consider any attack on Syria to be an attack on Iran. Claims by Syrian television that Israel hit a research facility near Damascus might be a pretext for an Iranian escalation with Israel. The Israeli army also deployed some of its Iron Dome batteries to northern Israel for the first time. It would not have done so if the chances of a war on Israel’s northern border weren’t increasing.
►►Why did Israel attack Syria now and why did the Syrians admit it? Two days before the Israeli attack on Syria, Iran said it would view any attack on Syrian territory as an attack against Iran itself. But the combination of strategic circumstances in the region at the moment makes the chance of a direct Iranian response unlikely. A Syrian military response seems even less likely, though neither possibility can be ruled out. The most worrying unknown since Tuesday night concerns Hezbollah’s reaction. It seems we are at the beginning of the story —and not the end.
►►Ex-Mossad head says Syria and Hezbollah will not respond. The former Director of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, Danny Yatom, has ruled out any response by the Syrian army or Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon to the Israeli attack on Syria. He told newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth on Wednesday he did not think there would be “any response, since there is no benefit for Hezbollah and Syria to do so”. He added: “Al-Assad is experiencing deep problems in his country and Hezbollah is doing its best to help him, so I don’t think that they will consider any response”.

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