Unconcealed Aggression

Israel is clearly trying to provoke a regional war and bring the US on board

Monday’s Israeli airborne missile strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus — which killed eight people including senior IRGC commander Mohamed Reza Zahedi — breached all the existing rules of engagement and, specifically, the secret understandings between the US and Iran not to expand the war on Gaza into a regional war.

This was an unconcealed act of aggression, not just against Syria but also Iran. Israel’s purpose is to ignite a region-wide war and drag the US into it — in parallel with the Ukraine war by also dragging in Russia.

This has been made clear by the increased pace of Israeli attacks on Syrian and Iranian military targets, as well as Hezbollah-related sites in South Lebanon which wreaked destruction on many villages and included the assassination of several high- and mid-level Hezbollah figures.

Israel is in crisis on many levels. It has lost is deterrent power and ability to protect its settlers both in the northern Galilee and the southern Gaza Envelope. It has had to evacuate tens of thousands of them. There has also been a substantial counter-migration of Israelis to their countries of origin in Europe, the Americas, or Russia in search of safer places to live since the Qassam Brigades’ al-Aqsa Deluge operation on October 7.

Hence the incessant Israeli military escalation directed primarily at Syrian and Iranian interests.
I suspect the US stands behind it. It has sent Israel more than 100 packages of military supplies since its assault on Gaza began. The latest includes 25 F-35 warplanes, 1,800 one-tonne MK-84 bombs, and 500 similar 500lb bombs.

These are hugely destructive weapons. They cannot be intended for use in Gaza where most of the infrastructure has already been destroyed and — unlike Lebanon and Iran — there is no solid mountainous terrain for them to be deployed against. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that they are being sent as part of a US/Israeli plan to invade southern Lebanon and maybe also to bomb Iran.

I do not know what Iran’s response will be to these deliberate Israeli provocations. But I suspect that with Israel’s knife at its neck, Iran’s policy of ‘strategic patience’ in the face of Israeli killings, attacks, and provocations, must be reaching a limit .

So how will Iran react? Directly, by striking an Israeli embassy in an Arab capital or elsewhere? Or indirectly, by giving Hezbollah a green light to hit crucial Israeli infrastructure?

More than ever before, we seem to be on the verge of a region-wide war ignited by Israel to serve its immediate purposes. But the response — from Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen — could put its very existence in jeopardy.


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