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Old January 12th, 2016, 08:33 AM   #1
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Russia Strikes On Syria’s Southern Opposition Spark Fears of Conflict With Israel

Not surprisingly, the Israelis have conducted cross-border raids. A sticky wicket indeed.

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Russia Strikes On Syria’s Southern Opposition Spark Fears of Cross-Border Conflict With Israel

BEIRUT — Russia’s involvement in Syria's war has concentrated on the northern and western regions of the embattled country, as part of a tacit understanding with Israel not to extend into its sphere of influence. But, as Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces push further south — with the help of Russian air cover and Iranian-backed militia — all bets are off. Israel has carried out several unacknowledged airstrikes inside Syria against the Iran-backed Lebanese armed group Hezbollah and Iranian forces, and some analysts say Israel looks closer to being drawn further into the conflict.

“If the Assad regime takes the entire Golan back, that could be Iran’s way to put in a second front and a second Gaza or a second southern Lebanon, to keep Israel busy,” Daniel Nisman, an Israeli security analyst with the Levantine Group, said in a recent interview with the Financial Times. Israel conquered the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Iran, Israel, Russia and the U.S. all say their interventions in Syria are carried out with the intention of eliminating “terrorists.” But the definition and demographics of those labeled “terrorists” looks very different in Moscow than it does in Jerusalem. Russia supports the Syrian regime, Iran and the various Tehran-backed militias in Syria battling the Islamic State group (AKA ISIS), al Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra and moderate Syrian rebels. Israel asserts that it wants to see al Qaeda and ISIS eradicated, but not at the cost of seeing Iran and Hezbollah set up shop on its northern borders with Syria and Lebanon. As the pro-regime southern operation intensifies, it could give Iran and Hezbollah a second front with Israel, the first being in Lebanon’s south:

“Syria has served as the main transit route by which Iran has armed and strengthened Hezbollah, making Damascus International Airport available for shipments of rockets and missiles that have been pivotal to Hezbollah’s challenge to Israel,” according to a report from the security and intelligence company Soufan Group.

Syria's combatants regard the conflict as a pan-Middle Eastern affair. A senior Hezbollah official in the south told International Business Times, “What’s going on in Syria is a regional war. The Iranians would not leave us alone in the battlefield with Israel.”

The fact that Syria is enabling Hezbollah and Iran to move their forces closer is not lost on the Israelis. Syrian rebel sources reported Sunday that Israel bombed a convoy of Iranian weapons headed for Hezbollah in Qalamoun, a mountainous region that borders Lebanon, near the contested border with Israel.

Tensions have been heating up on the Syrian border with Israel since the summer, when clashes in Syria’s Quneitra province were so close to the Golan Heights demarcation line that they set off missile-warning sirens in northern Israeli towns. The battles were a result of a push from rebels and Jabhat al-Nusra fighters against the predominantly pro-regime Druze town of Quneitra on the Syrian side of the de facto border.

The Israeli military did not respond to IBT’s request for a comment about the situation on its border with southern Syria.
More: Russia Strikes On Syria?s Southern Opposition Spark Fears of Cross-Border Conflict With Israel
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Old January 12th, 2016, 10:58 AM   #2
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Putin is causing more problems than he's solving.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 03:24 PM   #3
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I like putin
I don't care what anyone thinks. he impresses me as strict but fair.
like it or not that kind of person can be trusted.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 03:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dusty View Post
I like putin
I don't care what anyone thinks. he impresses me as strict but fair.
like it or not that kind of person can be trusted.
Unfortunately dusty, you are badly under-informed.

Putin is a lying, murdering son of a bitch on his good days. His lies created the hell in eastern Ukraine.

Recently, five editors of online publications that published anti-Putin articles disappeared. The special investigator assigned to their cases disappeared as well.

Last year, the opposition leader was murdered within sight of the Kremlin.

I could go on, but why?
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Old January 12th, 2016, 04:14 PM   #5
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Israel will not give up the Golan.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 04:22 PM   #6
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Israel will not give up the Golan.
That, conceivably, could pit them against Russia, or at least a Russian-armed Hezbollah.

Then what?
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Old January 12th, 2016, 04:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
That, conceivably, could pit them against Russia, or at least a Russian-armed Hezbollah.

Then what?
WWIII is not far away.
Israel can never give up the Golan, it has to maintain that high ground.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 04:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Grizz1 View Post
WWIII is not far away.
Israel can never give up the Golan, it has to maintain that high ground.
I wish I could argue with you....
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