How Syria Might Unleash War between Israel and Iran - The Daily Beast
In an exclusive interview, a former Mossad chief lays out how Assad threatens the entire Middle East. By Dan Ephron.
The former head of Israelís Mossad intelligence agency is warning that Israel and Iran may be headed to war over Iranís increasing military aid to Syria.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, Ephraim Halevy said Iran has extended its patronage to the embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad, sending weapons and soldiers to help quash an 18-month-long revolt against Assadís regime.
Israel shares a 45-mile long border with Syria that has been quiet for decades. But Halevy said the presence of Iranian troops just across that border heightens tensions between the two countriesótensions that are already elevated over Iranís nuclear program.
The Iranians are becoming ever more involved in Syria and itís reaching proportions beyond the imagination,Ē said Halevy, who headed Mossad from 1998 to 2002 and later served as director of Israelís National Security Council.
ďThis brings Israel and Iran in danger of a direct military confrontation in Syria,Ē he said. ďItís not to say that Israel seeks it, or Iran seeks it, but when you have such hatred spewed from Tehran towards Jerusalem, I donít trust the Iranian capability to control whatís going on there."Israel has fought three wars with Syria since 1948 and continues to occupy the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau it captured from Damascus in 1967. But the border between the two countries has remained calm since the separation of forces agreement that followed the 1973 war.The Syrian conflict, which has spiraled into a civil war with sectarian overtones, has already claimed the lives of more than 26,000 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Halevy would not specify what events in Syria could lead to war. But Israeli analysts have raised concerns about everything from a Syrian attack on Israelóaimed at deflecting attention from Assadís brutal crackdown on protestersóto the transfer of Syrian chemical weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Both scenarios take into account the possibility that Iranian troops or advisers in Syria might direct the events.
'The Iranians are becoming ever more involved in Syria and itís reaching proportions beyond the imagination.'Syrian leaders have generally preferred to lash out at Israel through proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon.