Israel has attacked a number of Syrian government-controlled locations in retaliation for a booby trap that injured four Israeli soldiers on the border. The airstrikes killed one, and injured seven Syrian soldiers. The trap was sprung as the IDF soldiers exited their vehicle to investigate a civilian near the border. Israel’s defense minister claims that all attacks against Israel along the border are President Bashar al-Assad’s fault, with or without evidence connecting his military to the damages.
The targets were random and chosen only due to their proximity to the border and their vulnerability to attack. These targets were identified as a training base, artillery positions and regional headquarters. They were the only remaining fixed positions of Assad’s army in the area so the airstrike had something to hit. The Israeli defense minister connects the Palestinian resistance force Hezbollah to being under Assad’s direction so attacking one hurts the other. Meanwhile, as the IDF gets more and more involved in the civil war, Syria remains in turmoil as they are still fighting off what has been previously identified as Al-Qaeda forces in open conflict.
Israel’s position in the Middle East has supposedly made it a target to militia in the area and the enemy of the Middle East. Actions since their creation seem to be forgotten by Israelis like the recent alleged retaliation against Syria because targets were available and because of their persecution of native Palestinians in the area. Israel needs to stop seeing itself as the victim of its surroundings and begin to take notice that actions will always speak louder than words. Their choice to make the surrounding people their enemy has only caused bloodshed, agony and hate throughout the region.
Israel has openly backed the insurgency in Syria, as they see Syria as a threat to national security. There has been no reason for Syria to entice the most powerful regional military while having difficulty with its own war. Once again, a nation is questioning the intelligence of Assad as a leader. It is safe to assume that no one who has any sort of military thought in their mind would risk a larger war when facing a stalemate in a current one.
Due to the nature of the war, the IDF will not be going in a stronger force to different locations in Syria. There are too many unknowns in the conflict. The groups that are fighting against Assad may be holding a position that was previously held by government forces, and an attack would cause unintended casualties in the friendly forces on the ground. Also, thanks to Russia’s backing of Syria in the previous chemical weapon crisis, Israel would possibly be going against a force they cannot handle alone.
The limited strike packages against Syria on available targets has been widely overlooked by the international community. Israel has fallen into the graces of Western powers when dealing with international law and U.N. actions. However, even with their airstrikes, it is unknown if it is causing much push in the war against Assad.
Opinion by Andy Diaz