Netanyahu Lost the War in Syria

Did Netanyahu lost the war in Syria? An illustrated article showing Israeli commandos evacuating Syria Islamic militants wounded might just say so.

In December 2015 British magazine “Daily Mail” published an illustrated article showing Israeli commandos evacuating Syria Islamic militants wounded in the battle against Assad’s troops. It was a clear proof of Tel Aviv’s involvement in Syrian Civil War.

Today on Israeli social media, we can find posts about bombardments and gun battle around the Israeli-Syria border. Local people believe that Israeli troops providing support for the Islamists fighting against Iranian and Asad’s armies. Official Israeli media already controlled by military censorship, silenced this information and chose to concentrate on clashes with Hamas in Gaza. But even if those battles really show Israeli involvement in Syria war, they are too little, too late.

Since its inception in 1948, Israel became a serious destabilizing factor for its neighbors. Israeli military and secret service acted to weaken their potential enemies and tried to promote persons and organizations friendly to Israel. In the 1950s, Mossad agents made carried out acts of sabotage in Egypt. Israel was involved in the civil conflict in Jordan and Lebanon, and for decades they had links to the Kurdish movement in Iraq and Syria.

Israeli involvement in the Syrian civil started in 2011 was a logical continuation of their foreign policy. Their actions have given Tel-Aviv a chance to seriously hit Assad’s regime and, perhaps, even probably bring about a new government to Syria that would be friendlier towards Israel. Back in 2015 such a perspective seemed feasible. Syrian’s regime, then, looked very weak and controlled only disjointed areas within the country. Israeli acted against Damascus as part of the coalition that included Washington and El Riad. Most observes were sure that Assad would be overthrown just like Ghaddafi and Mubarak.

But Benjamin Netanyahu and his advisers were unable to predict the massive intervention by the Russians and Iranians. Russia was not ready to lose its last standing ally in the Middle East and Iran regarded Syria as a bridge between the Shiites in Lebanon and Iran. Today, after almost a decade of fighting, Syrian opposition controls just a small area of the country. But prior to the the war, Israel’s neighbor was weak and the Syrian regime was suffering from international sanсtions, whereas today, Tel-Aviv also has to deal with Iranian troops on Syrian soil. Tehran openly started building military bases in Syria that may house thousands of soldiers and rockets.

Israeli hopes for its allies were also unrealistic. After series of defeats in Yemen and Syria, Saudi Arabia was looking to strike a deal with Iran. Donald Trump also cut US aid and minimized its presence in Syria and the Middle East in general. Arias populated by the Kurds, are now under the control of Turkish and Russian forces. This situation is making Israeli observers particularly upset. One such observer, Esor Ben-Sorek, wrote thus in Times of Israel:

“the Kurdish leaders reminded us of the suffering of the Jewish people over the centuries…. Jews, especially in Israel, sympathize with the Kurdish fight to establish a free homeland. It is our obligation to provide help and aid in any way we can to help them to secure their own land…. It is only a question, at this dangerous time in history, of what we can do to help the Kurds and to relieve them from Turkish oppression and massacre. It is our mitzvah, our sacred obligation, to come to the aid of friends who are enduring oppression, persecution, execution and exile. We cannot… we dare not refuse their request for Israel’s intervention to save their lives.”

Present situation in Syria seems to be the second Israel political and military defeat in its northern borders following the 2006 war. First Hizballah demonstrated its ability to resist the Israeli military machine. Now Israel also gets a hostile regional super-power close to its borders.