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Could Iran's Moves in Syria Be the Seeds of the Next War with Israel?

07-31-2017
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Border between Israel and Syria, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
Border between Israel and Syria, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

GOLAN HEIGHTS, Israel – President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin recently announced a ceasefire in parts of southern Syria.  A cease fire on the surface sounds like a great idea, but some Israeli leaders feel it presents a clear and present danger to the Jewish state.

President Trump discussed the ceasefire in an exclusive interview with CBN founder Pat Robertson.

"Now I don't know what's going to happen, maybe as we're speaking they start shooting again, but this has held unlike all of the other ceasefires that didn't mean anything. So that was a great thing that came out of that meeting," the president said.

CBN News recently visited the area on Israel's northern border covered by the ceasefire agreement. According to a number of reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't share President Trump's optimism about the ceasefire agreement for one main reason: Iran.

One senior Israeli official told the Israeli daily Ha'aretz "it creates a disturbing reality in southern Syria. The agreement doesn't include a single explicit word about Iran, Hezbollah or the Shiite militias in Syria."

The Syrian regime, Hezbollah and the others come perilously close to the border at Kuneitra next to the Israeli border.

CBN News talked with Middle East expert Jonathan Spyer about the potential danger that could result from the agreement.

"Israel is concerned that the ceasefire, coming along with new apparent revelations of the withdrawal of U.S. support – at least part of the support given to the rebels – could be paving the way for the regime and Russian and therefore Iranian and Hezbollah achievements in that area and that's a matter of deep concern," he explained.

Spyer says Iran is building a land bridge across the Middle East.

"The Iranian ambition is to have a contiguous corridor or de facto Iranian control stretching all the way across Iraq here and then across southern Syria and then of course at this point you hit Israel and also via Lebanon you get to the Mediterranean Sea," he said. "These are two big Iranian ambitions."

It's those ambitions that put Israel in grave danger.

"And the prospect is in another war – if Israel goes to war let's say with Hezbollah again here or in southern Lebanon in the future – you would sort of clear contiguous logistical line stretching all the way across Syria, Iraq and back to Iran," Spyer continued. "Now Iran can run supplies across that line. It could run thousands of volunteers, for example, across that line … it would massively increase the dimensions of a potentially future war between Israel and Iran-supported Hezbollah and that's something of very deep concern to Israel."

That's why some are warning the next phase of the Syrian Civil War might be the most dangerous of all.

 

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