Old Tricks, Old Dogs: Israeli Attacks on Syria
Israel has once again conducted air strikes against the Syrian government and its people, in yet another act of unprovoked aggression and international criminality. The New York Times would report in their article, “Syria Reports New Strikes From Israel Near Capital,” that:
Israeli warplanes struck at least two areas near Damascus on Sunday, the Syrian Armed Forces General Command said in a statement, apparently ending a months long hiatus in strikes attributed to Israel against sophisticated weaponry destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israeli officials refused to confirm or deny the latest reports from Syria, maintaining a policy of ambiguity that is meant to allow the other side to save face and to stave off retaliation.
Strikes hit government facilities in the capital as well as Damascus International Airport. One must wonder why Israel attacks what it has called “regional threats” in Damascus when it allows terrorist groups including Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front to park tanks along its borders.
Israel Strikes At Only Viable Nation Fighting ISIS in Region
At this current juncture in the Syrian crisis the illusion of “moderate rebels” has so utterly evaporated that even groups the US supposedly “vetted” and armed with sophisticated anti-tank weapons are now openly aligned with the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). The implications of this are, and as the Syrian government has said since 2011, that the Syrian government is fighting a battle not against its own people or “pro-democracy” forces, but heavily armed sectarian extremists either flying the flag of Al Qaeda, or openly having pledged allegiance to it.
It becomes increasingly difficult for casual observers then, to understand why nations like Israel are still conducting attacks directly against the government of Syria while providing defacto sanctuaries for ISIS terrorists and their affiliates along their border with Syria in the occupied Golan Heights. It would appear to the casual observer that Israel, Al Qaeda, and ISIS are in fact in league, and the conflict raging within Syria is instead a proxy war being waged from beyond its borders rather than solely within them.
Indeed, these implications are not only logical considering Israel’s recent attacks, the latest in a series of attacks it has carried out in support of terrorists and against the Syrian government since 2011, but they are also backed up with documented evidence from as early as 2007. However, Israel does not act alone.
Together, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel openly conspired to use sectarian militants including Al Qaeda to wage a regional proxy war against Iran and its allies – including against both Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. This explains why Israel has attacked both the Syrian government and Hezbollah even as both wage war on Al Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates.
Compounding the Israeli regime’s criminality is the fact that the only forces providing a defense for regional minorities, including Christians, Jews, Druzes, and secular Muslims of all sects, is in fact Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army. Attacks on either undermine their ability to stem what will otherwise be unhinged regional genocide carried out by US, Saudi, Israeli, and even Qatari-backed sectarian militants.
Israel’s Ties to Militants are Long Documented
The Jerusalem Post has recently published accusations by the Syrian government stating that the Israeli government is aiding Al Qaeda, including Al Nusra and ISIS. In its report titled, “Head of Syrian army after alleged airstrikes: Israel working with ISIS and al-Qaida,” the Post states:
The commander of the Syrian Armed forces Lt. General Ali Abdulla Ayoub claimed Israel was working with ISIS and al-Qaida to attack Syria, in the wake of Syrian government claims that Israeli planes attacked military sites near Damascus on Sunday night.
“This aggression confirms Israel directly supports terrorism in Syria, in addition to the known Western and regional countries, raising the morale of terrorist organizations, led by Jabhat al-Nusra, an arm of al-Qaida in the Levant, and ISIS,” the head of the Syrian military said.
The Post and the Israeli government itself posed no counter to these accusations, and evidence from as far back as 2007 confirms without a doubt that Israel, among others, is indeed directly behind the rise and perpetuation of sectarian militants inside and along Syria’s borders.
It was in 2007 that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh published in his prophetic article titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?“that (emphasis added):
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
Following the evacuation of UNDOF personnel from position 85 on 28 August, UNDOF sporadically observed armed members of the opposition interacting with IDF across the ceasefire line in the vicinity of United Nations position 85.There can be no argument that Al Nusra and ISIS are precisely the “extremist groups” Hersh warned of who “espouse a militant vision of Islam” and who are “sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” The fact that these militant groups are being staged literally within NATO territory before being shuttled over the border and into the fighting in Syria confirms indeed that the ongoing catastrophe in Syria is an intentionally engineered proxy war.
For Israel’s part, the United Nations itself has implicated Tel Aviv in associating with, aiding, and abetting armed militants along the Israeli-Syrian border. UN observations have been cut short in part due to attacks on UN monitors by the very terrorists Israel is suspected of associating with.
One UN Security Council report dated December 1, 2014 titled, “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for the period from 4 September to 19 November 2014 (.pdf),” states unequivocally that:
Not only is Israel using terrorists in a proxy war against Syria, it is also using terrorists to harass and expel UN monitors in attempts to prevent any documentation of their state-sponsorship of terrorism. Similar tactics are used by NATO along the Turkish-Syrian border. The same UN report would also note that among the militants operating under apparent Israeli protection was terrorist group Al Nusra – listed as the Nusra Front in the report. Reports of Israeli attacks on Syrian aircraft further indicate that Israel is intentionally providing sanctuary for terrorists against Syrian attacks imposing a defacto “buffer zone” between Israeli territory and Syria where literally Al Qaeda can arm, stage, and carry out attacks further into Syria.
It is clear that without Israeli and Jordanian support on Syria’s western and southern fronts, and NATO member Turkey’s help in the north, the Syrian government would have restored order within its borders long ago. That the very source of ISIS and Al Qaeda’s strength appears to originate within NATO territory and within buffer zones carved out by Israeli forces, reveals the Syrian conflict as the proxy military operation it truly is – as well as exposing Al Qaeda and ISIS as not the independent menaces they are portrayed as across the Western media, but as a proxy mercenary force created, directed, and perpetuated by the West.
Israel claiming that it must strike Damascus to eliminate “regional threats” while Al Nusra maintains tanks and artillery literally on Israel’s borders is the verbatim fulfillment of Seymour Hersh’s 2007 report where it was warned the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel were conspiring to carry out this exact military campaign, with Al Qaeda filling the ranks of their own regional mercenary army.
Israel’s Portrayal As Unilateral Mad Dog
US policymakers had long-ago demonstrated a desire to portray Israel as a unilateral aggressor to provoke and attack Western targets without implicating the West itself. Corporate-financier funded policy think-tank the Brookings Institution in a 2009 document titled, “Which Path to Persia?” would reveal this, stating in regards to an Israeli attack on Iran specifically that:
The option’s principal virtue is that if Israel effects a military solution to the Iranian nuclear threat, the United States would benefit from the attack without taking the risks of using its own forces.
If the United States concludes that this option is worth pursuing, it merely requires a high-level conversation between Washington and Jerusalem. again, the principal virtue of this option is that it would result in airstrikes against the Iranian nuclear program and could mitigate the political, diplomatic, and even military burdens on the United States. it may also result in a strike against the Iranian nuclear program much sooner than the United States could be able to do, although the punch might be much weaker than what the United States could deliver.The report also discusses giving Israel a feigned “red light” to attack Iran, as a means to support Israel but avoid culpability for the attack. It states (emphasis added):
It is abundantly clear that this scenario also applies to any attack on Syria – with Israel already beta-testing Brookings’ schemes amid its multiple, unprovoked attacks on Damascus. Such attacks have received almost no condemnation from across the West including its many disingenuous international institutions, and including the United Nations itself. Israel’s attacks have not only gone without condemnation, but little to no link has been made to the United States. In fact, as mentioned elsewhere within the Brookings policy paper, attempts to portray a political falling out between Tel Aviv and Washington have helped create the illusion that these attacks are truly unilateral rather than coordinated directly with the United States.
Israel’s military does not exist without US patronage. It’s actions beyond its borders are coordinated with US intelligence both in theater and from above in orbit. No attack on Iran, Syria, or any other nation beyond Israel’s borders by Tel Aviv goes unnoticed or without coordination with and approval from the United States and its regional partners. This also means that for each attack Israel carries out across its borders against another nation, also complicit is Ankara, Riyadh, Amman, and Doha.
Incremental Steps Toward Total War
It must be remembered that the joint US-Saudi-Israeli war on Syria is but a part of a greater regional war against Iran and in turn Russia and China. Each successful incremental step this axis achieves in its war against Syria is a step closer to total war with Syria’s allies. Proxy warfare against Iran, Russia, and China is already underway, albeit in the form of low intensity terrorism and political subversion.
Syria was not attacked by “Israel” alone, it was attacked by an axis including Israel – Israel merely playing the part of unilateral aggressor, preying on decades of hatred it has purposefully cultivated in its war on the Palestinian people as well as the abuses and fear it imposes upon the Israeli people themselves. But along with Israel, the attack was also perpetrated by at least the United States which provided Israel with the weapons and intelligence to do so, as well as complicity from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar who are coordinating efforts with Israel’s aggression elsewhere in Syria to help further undermine Damascus and aid terrorists fighting within Syrian borders.
It is essential to continuously expose Israel’s actions within the context of the axis it is a part of. Condemning Israel alone for multiple unprovoked attacks against Syria plays directly into the strategy explicitly laid out by US policymakers years ago in preparations for war against Iran. Exposing Israel’s ties to not only this axis, but the terrorist mercenaries this axis is aiding and abetting within Syria, undermines the legitimacy used to underpin continued Western aggression against Damascus and unties the hands of Syria’s allies to take more resolute steps toward securing Syria’s borders and ending this deadly conflict.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online /12/09/old-tricks-old-dogs-israeli-attacks-on-syria/