Israel and Iran Are Headed for a Collision in Syria

A new reality is taking shape as one war gives way to new ones.

The reports of yet another Israeli Air Force strike this week on a base near Homs show that there is a new reality in Syria, taking shape as the civil war draws to a close—one that creates a predetermined chronicle of collision between Israel and Iran, on the soil of a third party. The routing of ISIS and the reestablishment of Bashar al-Assad’s rule across much of the state of Syria, alongside the seeming lack of American interest in the country except after major chemical attacks, is facilitating the expansion of Iran’s influence—indeed its de facto takeover—in much of the country. And with each passing day the sensation in Israel, of standing alone against the Iranian gambit to turn Syria into an Iranian forward base, grows more intense. The only thing that might change it is change of American policy.

Initially, the official Syrian response to the attack on the T-4 base in central Syria seemed muddled. The Assad regime hurried to accuse Washington, believing that the strike was a punitive response to the alleged deployment of chemical weapons in Douma, near Damascus, over the weekend. Washington’s unequivocal denial turned suspicions south of Syria—toward Israel. Later, Damascus and Moscow announced their belief that Israel was responsible.

At this stage it is still difficult to say what precisely occurred in the attack, but the results, it is clear, are a blow to Iran. And judging by the reactions in Moscow, the strike also managed to irritate Russia. read more

Iran official: Tel Aviv, Haifa ‘will be razed’ if Israel attacks

Ali Shirazi, senior aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, retorts to PM Netanyahu’s threats at Yad Vashem ceremony, says ‘If Israel gives excuses to Iran, Tel Aviv, Haifa will be destroyed.’

The Iranian Supreme Leader’s envoy to the elite Quds Force unit said on Thursday that Tehran could destroy Israel and warned it to avoid any “stupid” measure against the Islamic Republic, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

“If Israel wants to continue its treacherous existence … it should avoid stupid measures. If they give excuses to Iran, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be destroyed,” cleric Ali Shirazi—Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force—was quoted by Fars as saying. “Iran can destroy Israel.” read more

IRAN ENVOY: IRAN WILL DESTROY TEL AVIV, HAIFA IF ISRAEL MAKES ‘EXCUSES’

Israel should “avoid stupid measures,” warned the cleric.

ANKARA – Iran can destroy Israel so Tel Aviv should avoid any stupid measures against the Islamic Republic, the supreme leader’s representative to the Quds force said on Thursday according to the semi-official Fars news agency. “If Israel wants to continue its treacherous existence… it should avoid stupid measures. If they give excuses to Iran, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be destroyed,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative at the Quds force cleric Ali Shirazi was quoted by Fars as saying. “Iran can destroy Israel.” read more