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Israel is becoming increasingly assertive in its strikes and raids, allegedly against Iranian positions, on Syrian soil.
This is more than likely owed to the fact that US activity is at a low-point following Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Israel feels threatened by the slim possibility that the Iran Nuclear Deal will be revived. As such it is left to fend for itself and it appears to be doing so quite ferociously.
In the late hours of February 3rd, the Israeli military launched a large-scale attack on southern Syria. The Syrian Arab Army General Command said that that air-to-ground and ground-to-ground missiles were launched in a heavy barrage.
According to local sources the barrage targeted Damascus International Airport, Mezzeh Military Airport, a Syrian Arab Army base near the district of Kiswah, and a series of military sites in Daraa and al-Quneitra.
The Syrian military says that some of the missiles were intercepted, others caused only material damage.
Israel’s primary targets in the region are Iranian positions, or those of pro-Iranian groups and proxies. This includes Hezbollah targets, to limit the efforts of its Lebanese neighbor.
It is plain to notice what has changed in the most recent attack – it was launched from Israeli soil. In usual practice, the Israeli air force encroaches on Lebanese airspace to carry out its raids.
On February 3rd, however, an Israeli drone was targeted by a Hezbollah anti-aircraft missile. This is a rare occurrence, even if it only targets a drone. It means that the airspace encroachment is becoming more dangerous.
This is a testament to Hezbollah’s increasing capability in limiting Israel’s freedom of action.
The increasing Israeli activity in both frequency and scale, are providing a window of opportunity to ISIS terrorists throughout Syria, and predominantly in Homs and Deir Ezzor.
In the early hours of February 3rd, a surprise attack by an ISIS cell resulted in the deaths of at least 12 pro-Syrian government fighters.
There has been an increased intensity of ISIS attacks in recent weeks. It is quite self-evident that this arose amid Israel’s continued attacks on Syrian Army positions and civilian infrastructure under the pretext that they host Iranian forces.
Even if the Syrian Arab Army is preoccupied with defense, its allies in the form of Russia and Iran are picking up the slack.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is set to establish a tribal force in Deir Ezzor. The main aim of this force will be to support the Iranian and pro-Iranian forces in the region and to serve in a style similar to the “ISIS Hunters”. Despite Israel’s “best efforts” Tehran’s influence in Syria is growing, and this is more evidence of that.
A region that has received less attention in recent weeks, due to the general chaos, is Idlib.
Russian warplanes continue pounding the al-Qaeda-linked “moderate opposition” in the area, attempting to put a stop to its adventurism beyond the demilitarized zone. The ceasefire must hold and Moscow attempts to limit militants’ attempts to compromise it.
Meanwhile, the terrorists in Idlib are being whitewashed, and presented anew as “freedom fighters”. PBS Frontline presented the head of Jabhat al-Nusra (currently Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham) as a reformed hero, working towards peace. For years he had a $10 million bounty on his head for leading the world’s No 1 terrorist organization. That appears to be no more, he is now a hero fighting against suppression.
The chaos in the Middle East is growing, amid increasing Israeli activity and renewed attempts to whitewash known terrorists by MSM. Despite Damascus’, Moscow’s and Tehran’s best efforts, the situation has the potential to get much worse, before it gets any better.