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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yadlin: This won't be the last time we strike Syria

Former Chief of IDF intelligence and director of the Institute for National Security Studies Amos Yadlin told the Washington Post on Saturday that Israel's recent strike in Syria is unlikely to be the last one.
Israel, he said, has defined four types of weapons whose transfer to militant groups would not be tolerated: advanced air defense systems, ballistic missiles, sophisticated shore-to-sea missiles and chemical weapons.
In accordance with this policy, Yadlin said, “any time Israel will have reliable intelligence that this is going to be transferred from Syria to Lebanon, it will act,” although specific decisions to strike would be subject to assessments of the military value of the attack, the risk of escalation and the positions of foreign powers.
“As the Syrian army becomes weaker and Hezbollah grows more isolated because of the loss of its Syrian patron, it makes sense that this will continue,” Yadlin said, adding that Israeli responses would be weighed each time and “not happen automatically.”
The real dilemma facing Israeli officials, Yadlin said, is not whether to attack, but whether inaction would mean a greater threat later. “The correct comparison is the risk of escalation now and the risk of having a much more formidable enemy and many casualties in future hostilities,” he said.
Analysts in Lebanon also predicted more Israeli strikes if advanced weapons transfers were attempted.
“Israel is trying to create a sense of deterrence,” said Elias Hanna, a retired general and a professor at the American University of Beirut. “The other side tries to test and erode the system.”


With the Syrian army preoccupied with internal fighting and Hezbollah wary of jeopardizing its position in Lebanon as its Syrian sponsor weakens, neither is likely to risk wider conflict by retaliating against Israel for the Jan. 30 strike, according to the Israeli official and analysts.
“The Syrians are interested in keeping the civil war in Syria, where they are militarily much stronger than the rebels,” Yadlin said. “Against external forces, they would be inferior.”
“If Hezbollah attacked [Israel], they would basically be admitting that the air defense system was on its way to them, infuriating the Russians” who supplied the weapons to Syria with the understanding that they would not be moved to Hezbollah, he said.
Still, Yadlin cautioned, every additional Israeli strike would raise the risk of escalation.
If this analysis is correct, the strikes should all be on the Syrian side of the border. Since 2006, Israel has avoided striking in Lebanon, even though that policy permitted the massive buildup of some 60,000 rockets that Hezbullah has available to it today. There will be another war. The only question is when. 

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At 3:57 PM, Blogger HaDaR said...

I am more and more dismayed by how much, how often and how inappropriately these non intelligent ex intelligence officers of high rank open their mouths missing one opportunity after another to keep it shut.


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