Syrian Military forces, presumably responding to orders from Tehran with the return of Syrian Defense Minister General Fahd al-Freij, who was carrying the instructions from the Iranian leadership for the Syrian army and Hezballah forces to open a front upon the IDF in the Golan Heights and across the northern border. Their response to this directive was swift and immediate as there were four rockets fired onto the heights. The four rockets struck in the Upper Galilee region in the north near the Lebanese border after “code red” warning sirens were sounded in the area sending residents into their respective shelters for the duration of the rocket attacks. These assaults came at the same time that Iron Dome batteries placing one near Ashdod and later in the afternoon placed another near the southern city of Be’er Sheva. These precautions were taken expecting violence from Hamas or Islamic Jihad in response to feeding the hunger striking prisoner controversy who has been hospitalized after over two months of carrying out his prevocational hunger strike demanding he not be force fed and permitted to go free or die a martyr and be idolized in the Arab society. The Arab security prisoner already had six Israeli citizens which he murdered. He claims he should not be held as he has not committed any additional crime beyond the original murder of six Israelis for which he never finished serving the full life sentence. He was among the Arabs released during the exchange for Schalit deal and was supposed to not come back into Israeli controlled areas, which he obviously had done, leading to his confinement.
But the front which was lit up by the four rockets was an equally severe threat to the safety of all Israel. Any threat coming from the al-Assad regime or the Hezballah threat has as its potential the complete range of Hezballah rockets in addition to the somewhat destroyed system from Syria which pose the potential of carrying chemical warheads which al-Assad did not completely rid himself of all his specialty rocket warheads as he had promised as a part of his deal to avoid being incarcerated. Threats from either al-Assad or Hezballah are of such a huge potential problem, especially as their numbers of rockets they are capable of throwing into such a barrage overwhelming the Iron Dome systems that they would be incapable of intercepting the quantity which they would be capable of launching simultaneously. Additionally, with al-Assad assisting these rockets could have warheads using virtually any kind of chemical composition. This becomes even more likely as the al-Assad regime keeps being pushed into an ever smaller region that al-Assad may consider his situation so dire as to be unwinnable. This could present al-Assad with a use them or lose them to his enemies such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda that he might consider himself better off drawing Israel into the fray in the hope of forcing those attacking his positions to now also be facing advancing IDF troops.
Bashir al-Assad would most definitely desire to have his family captured by the Israelis over either al-Qaeda or the Islamic State as he knows all too well what such an inevitability that might present. As insane as it might sound, al-Assad would want to avoid at all costs capture by the Islamic State, and secondarily al-Qaeda though at least his family might not suffer as badly with them, but most favorably would be capture by the IDF as they would not torture anyone of his family and he would likely face a civilized trial and more than likely not face a death sentence and torture would be out of the question in any case. Given a choice between being captured by a Western style state or an Islamic, be they Sunni or Shiite, the Western style state is always preferable. Thus even if the Iranians had not instructed al-Assad to attack and draw Israel into the fighting he would be better off having Israel sweep across all of Syria and remove all terror entities. This would leave Syria populated by his Alawites, and the refugees returning who would be a mix of Muslims, Christians, Druze, Kurds and other smaller groups but at least there would be no Islamic State or al-Qaeda forces which were bent on his capture if only for the pleasure of repaying on Bashir al-Assad himself some of the atrocities he had meted out on his enemies which included many of their own members.
Al-Assad may not have been quite to the level of a Saddam Hussein when it comes to torturing people, though he did so to gain information, simply as a punishment and as a warning to others not to test him or oppose him in any way or they may not only lose their life but be tortured inhumanly before their execution. Additionally, al-Assad included chemical weapons, barrel bombs and other ruthless and horrific attacks on both the al-Qaeda and Islamic State forces and in some instances on the families of these groups which would only serve as a further instance for vengeance being taken out on him and his family members. One must remember that some of those who may eventually be his captors have had their families tortured simply by he and his father’s rule. That leaves a lot of time for grievances to accumulate leading to an ever deeper hatred for the man. Add in the religious backdrop and you have a potential which would be difficult to even get your arms around, let alone explain in civil terminology. Torture would be a weak and insufficient term with acts on the level of the Marquis de Sade or the Inquisition in its later stages brings to mind. This would be a very driving factor to try and bring Israel into the fray even if only to have an alternative out for al-Assad to place his family; such a plan still would likely leave Bashir al-Assad behind to his enemies and their merciless plans for him and those closest to him.
As far as Israel is concerned, it would be really nice to have a complete summer and fall go by and not result in another war, especially against Hezballah if solely because of the suffering and ravages such a war would bring on relatively innocent Lebanese living anywhere near or amongst Hezballah positions, or worse those whose residences have been turned by Hezballah into a fortified emplacement from which to launch rockets or set an ambush because such would necessarily entail the destruction of that residence. Should the end of summer bring on a conflict with Hezballah and Syria as a coordinated attack, one can only hope that Hezballah would fight largely out of positions in Syria and leave Lebanon as few and clear of Hezballah that the Lebanese are left uninjured by the conflict. A war with Hezballah would entail on the Israeli side heavy bombing and indirect fire on known positions south of the Litani River, the Bekaa Valley, southern Beirut and any other known Hezballah infrastructure. Israeli military leaders have warned Lebanon’s population and leaders other than Hezballah that should another war be fought against Hezballah that Lebanon would be facing a rebuilding effort beyond imagination as such a campaign would rain down ruination on their country.
Similarly, should Bashir al-Assad decide that his situation is so dire that Israel becomes a more favorable foe, he had best rethink starting a conflict with Israel even if he does have Hezballah assisting with the fight as Israel would have little choice knowing the extent of his weapons than to simply level everything in the areas still under his control such that those armaments would not be capable of being used against the Israeli public. The Israeli public is fed up with the constant slow bleeding from Fatah inspired terrorism, Hamas biannual wars and Hezballah or Syria deciding Israel is the more civil foe. Let’s gain support for our regimes by having a civilized war with Israel to bring the people back behind us as we are still the one’s fighting the evil ones thus everybody need assist al-Assad as he is their salvation. Boy, are these people confused and misled to believe such drivel as that but still a war against Israel would blunt much of the fire in the forces against him for as long as the war with Israel was waged. Should al-Assad lose to Israel it is entirely possible that Israel, in turn could destroy the terror groups including the Islamic State and then return control over Syria to a very unworthy but the least of all evils, Bashir al-Assad. A very muted and largely disarmed Syria would remain, warned by Israel against accepting gifts from Iran or others which might be viewed as rearming his military.
If the time is not now, trust that the time is very close where the leadership of Israel will be put upon by the people to end all these wars and terrorist strikes once and for all. When this becomes the domain of over two-thirds of the population the leadership will have no alternative but to instigate a no nonsense approach to terrorism and any overt act which takes Israeli lives will be answered with an unleashed violence aimed at only one thing, eradication of the sources of such vile terrorism. Should the Palestinian Authority allow its forces or those of Fatah or Hamas in Judea and Samaria to attack Israel they would be met with overwhelming force and a definitively disproportionate response leaving them with little or no claim to lands within Israel from the River to the Sea. As far as Gaza, an overt act out of Gaza might result in the majority of the people being driven into Egypt where they can sort things out with President Sisi, the same Sisi who was the driving force and commander of the Armies when the Muslim Brotherhood was driven from power in Egypt, I severely doubt that President Sisi will show much patience with any terrorists in the northern Sinai Peninsula which would bode poorly for Hamas, Islamic Brigades, al-Qaeda, ISIS and any other criminal or terror entity. Eventually, in every conflict there are only two potential outcomes, either the stronger but less prone to war easily finds the situation unbearable and they fight one defining campaign and destroy most of their less civilized or even barbarous enemies or the barbarians tear down the civilization and it takes centuries to work one’s way back to the technological level for the society.
Should Israel lose to the terrorist enemies surrounding her, the world will lose one of the technological productive society which could have assisted the entire region to strive for a better life but an Israeli defeat would be the destruction of that engine and it would be completely forgotten within three generations. That is the point which is racing towards the Middle East in the areas surrounding Israel and even those somewhat further away as Israel knows who and what are the enemies and where their major weapons are stored or readied for use such as fueling rockets, a very volatile location if attacked when expecting a launch. Israel knows something which will drive her to fight with the vengeance of a wounded mother protecting her children to the bitter end and those children will be protected and nurtured no matter what it will take. Israel knows that should Israel fail then the eternal people will be reduced to small little pockets whose numbers would be an insignificant anomaly rather than being capable of being that light onto the peoples of the world which is presumably their destiny. For the Jewish people being capable of providing an example of what kind of a society mankind can aspire to and to produce miracles in science, medicine, and all other fields including agriculture, animal husbandry and such sciences not usually thought about in a high tech environment, but an area where Israel has made some important strides such as drip irrigations and selectively breeding both animals and plants as an answer to naturally produced crops and animals with the benefits of genetically altered examples as by selective breeding one can gain many of those advantages without the dangers of forcing nature unnaturally. Israel knows deep inside that there is no other manner of salvation of the Jewish People should Israel fall ever again and the end of Judaism would have some disastrous affects and effects on mankind going forward, some very unseen and unpredictable deplorable and dehumanizing consequences which would severely undermine humanity as a whole, a place nobody should desire to test. That is the price and the choice mankind will make in the next couple of decades, please for all mankind’s sake, choose wisely.
Beyond the Cusp