If you give me a dime for every bullet that has been spent in Syrian war, I would be richer then the Sultan of Brunei. So what's all the commotion these days in the region? Read the Headlines. A war of words between Iran and Israel. The Shia Akhunds of Iran have been cornered.
You see, Iranian are masters of deception, It goes back for thousands of years of their history. They deceived the U.S. in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen. Or shall we say that you cannot deceive the U.S.. It was the U.S. that was complicit in the revival of Shiasm and specially Shia crescent from Iran to Lebanon. It's similar to what they did in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the 80's and 90's. I assume someone in CIA or Mossad headquarters decided to sow the seeds of fundamentalism in the region and 20-30 years later their efforts have bear fruits. As I have mentioned this repeatedly in my previous post. To the CIA and Mossad, Iran is like a Holstein Cattle that gives milk in abundance. But these days there is a new plan in the making which has been part of the broader strategy from the get go. Invade Iraq, give to Iran. Organize an anti-Assad Sunni coalition, but never give them enough weapons to topple the Iranian-backed Syrian regime. Give Billions to Cash-strapped Iran under the nuclear agreement to pay for the tends of thousand of die-hard shia soldiers in the region.
Shia insurgency and militarism is under full swing in the region thanks to all the players. Now what? What's the end game? Is the climax of all this to be played during Israel-Iran war, or there is something else in the back-burner?
To answer these questions, lets examine first how shiasm thrives. Shiasm thrives under relative security. War is detrimental for Shia causes since they are the minority. Look at the progress shias have made in Afghanistan since 2001. The same can said in other regions. If war breaks out between Iran and Israel, that would be the end Iran's hegemony in the region. Not the outcome desired since a counter balance to majority Sunni Middle East must be maintained.
Is it possible that Israel will draw Iran into a conflict and somehow involve the Gulf States to do the heavy lifting. BINGO. The final Strategy is a war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Both the Saudi and Iran are as reluctant to this war as is a sheep is being led to the slaughterhouse. But they will make it happen. And similar to decade long Iran-Iraq was of the 80's, both sides will be helped to keep it going for as long as possible. The End game is to take over Gulf Oil fields and starve the rest of the world from oil. The Arabs can entertain themselves in their Casinos in Hejaz and elsewhere.
AP Analysis: Iran has few options to avenge Syria strikes
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After a second suspected Israeli strike killing Iranian forces in Syria, the Islamic Republic has few ways to retaliate as its leaders wrestle with both unrest at home and the prospect of its nuclear deal collapsing abroad.
Though it has long made threats about Israel's existence, Iran doesn't have a modern air force to take on Israel. Launching ballistic missiles also remains a question mark, considering Israel's anti-missile defense system, the near-certainty of massive Israeli retaliation and the risk of further alienating the West as President Donald Trump threatens to withdraw the United States from the atomic accord.
Meanwhile, Iran's long-favored strategy of relying on allied militant groups and proxies faces limits as well. Hezbollah, now bloodied and battered from Syria's long war, may not have the appetite for another conflict as the Shiite militant group tries to further integrate into local Lebanese politics.
Here's a look at what happened and the challenges confronting Iran as it weighs its response.
On April 9, a suspected Israeli jet fighter targeted Syria's T4 air base in central Homs province, hours after a suspected poison gas attack on a rebel-held Syrian town. That strike killed 14 people, including seven Iranians.
On Sunday, just before midnight, another attack struck Syrian government outposts further north, in Hama and Aleppo provinces. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes, which targeted an arms depot containing surface-to-surface missiles belonging to Iranian militias in Hama province and a military base in Aleppo province, killed 26 pro-government forces, most of them Iranians.
Suspicion for both attacks immediately fell on Israel, which, in keeping with tradition, has neither confirmed nor denied carrying out the strikes. If Israeli jets carried out the latest assault, it would mean the country's fighters are flying deeper and deeper into Syrian territory, as Hama is some 180 kilometers (110 miles) from Israel.
IRANIAN MILITARY LIMITS
While Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the April 9 attack "a crime" and other officials threatened revenge, there are significant limits to Iran's conventional military forces.
Iran's air force, in particular, has suffered since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The backbone of its air power remains pre-revolution American F-4s, F-5s and F-14s, with a mix of other Soviet, French and aging aircraft. That fleet is outgunned by the modern U.S.-supplied fighter jets flown by Israel and the Gulf Arab states.
To counter that, Iran has put much of its money toward developing a ballistic missile force it says provides a defensive deterrent to a direct air attack. Iran's Revolutionary Guard, a hard-line paramilitary force answerable only to Khamenei, controls those ballistic missiles, which can reach Israel.
There is recent precedent for Iran launching ballistic missiles to avenge attacks. Last June, six Iranian Zolfaghar missiles targeted Islamic State group positions in Syria in revenge for an IS-claimed attack on the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic's founder. However, Israeli media later reported only one made it to its target, something denied by the Guard.
Israel, in cooperation with the U.S., also has developed a multi-layer system of missile defense that could protect it against incoming Iranian fire. While no missile defense is perfect, Israel could defend itself. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, long a hawk on Iran, also likely wouldn't hesitate to launch a massive retaliatory strike.
NUCLEAR DEAL IN THE BALANCE
A missile attack on Israel would draw an immediate response from the West, in particular the U.S., which long has acted as the guarantor of Israel's safety. Trump has pledged "we have no better friends anywhere" than Israel and is moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a move that has angered Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and their Arab backers.
Any military action would further isolate Iran as Trump faces a self-imposed May 12 deadline to decide what to do about the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. That deal allowed Iran to sell crude oil on the international market and regain access to the world's banks. Losing it could mean further economic problems for Iran, which has already seen its currency, the rial, crater against the U.S. dollar.
While average Iranians haven't experienced any direct benefit from the nuclear deal, they have felt the currency crisis. Iranian government officials recognize that anger, coupled with still-smoldering resentments after nationwide protests swept the country in December and January, could further challenge their rule. That could grow with a fumbled direct attack on Israel.
Iran could fall back on its regional militant allies or proxies to launch an attack, a strategy it has used with great success after its ruinous 1980s war with Iraq. After the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, the U.S. blamed Iran for training Iraqi militants to build so-called explosively formed projectiles, which penetrated armored vehicles to maim and kill soldiers. Tehran denied doing this. Western nations and U.N. experts also say Iran has supplied the Shiite rebels now holding Yemen's capital with weapons, from small arms to ballistic missiles, something Tehran also denies.
Iran's greatest proxy achievement, however, is Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group and political organization that pushed occupying Israeli forces out of Lebanon in 2000. Since then, Hezbollah has remained an adversary of Israel and fought one war against it in 2006. Southern Lebanon's rolling hills bordering Israel remain Hezbollah's stronghold.
Iran could retaliate through Hezbollah, but the group has been battered in the Syrian war. Supporting embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad has seen hundreds of its fighters killed and wounded.
Hezbollah also wants to further integrate into local Lebanese politics as the nation votes on Sunday for a new parliament for the first time in nine years. Launching a new war could endanger its political support base, including possibly among its Shiite constituency, which is wary of another ruinous war with Israel.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
For now, Iran continues to threaten retaliation. If none comes, Israel may feel emboldened to launch strikes even deeper into Syria to clear out major Iranian bases before that country's war ends. But continuing strikes risk further escalation on all sides, with Hezbollah still heavily armed just across the Israeli border. How Russia and the U.S. would respond to any escalation remains a question as well.
Associated Press writer Zeina Karam in Beirut contributed to this report.
Israel Spells Out Iranian Activities It Won't Tolerate in Syria
Israel will do whatever it takes to wipe out Iranian military capabilities in Syria, even if that means targeting heavily populated neighborhoods, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Michael Oren, Israel’s deputy minister for public diplomacy, laid out four “red lines” that would prompt his country to strike Iranian targets in neighboring Syria. If Iran tries to build underground factories to upgrade less sophisticated missiles to precision-guided weapons, Israel will stop them, “even if those factories are beneath densely populated areas,” he told a group of foreign journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories.
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Israel also won’t tolerate Iranian attempts to equip its proxy Lebanese militia Hezbollah with precision-guided missiles or to build an air base or naval port in Syria, Oren said. And it will attack Syria or Iran if fired at, he added.
Israel has repeatedly struck targets within Syria in the course of that country’s seven-year civil war, and has vowed to keep Iran from establishing a permanent base there. It has declined to comment on unclaimed missile attacks late Sunday that targeted an Iranian army base containing artillery in Hama, and a military airport in Aleppo.
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The Haaretz daily reported that Israel has made clear to Russia and the U.S. that it will strike back if Iran attempts to attack it from Syrian territory, and will return fire in Iran if Israeli population centers are hit. The newspaper cited unidentified security and political officials.
“Israel is committed to enforcing and holding its red lines,” Oren said. “If that leads to an escalation, it will be on the heads of Iran and not the state of Israel. We have to defend ourselves.”
Iran says it will respond to Israeli strike in Syria
BEIRUT (AP) — A senior Iranian official said Tuesday the Islamic Republic will respond "at the appropriate time and place" to a purported Israeli missile strike that killed several Iranian troops in Syria.
The comments by Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of the Iranian parliament's national security committee, were the first to directly address the attack Sunday night on outposts in northern Syria, widely believed to have been carried out by Israel.
A war monitoring group and an Iranian news agency said the strikes killed more than a dozen pro-government fighters, many of them Iranians.
"Aggression of the Zionist entity against the presence of our military advisers in Syria gives us the right to respond at the appropriate place and time," Boroujerdi said at a press conference in the Syrian capital.
The Sunday night attack in Syria sent tensions soaring between Israel and Iran. Israel is believed to be behind several strikes on Iran-linked positions in Syria in the last year, although Israeli authorities typically do not confirm or deny such attacks. Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has sent thousands of fighters to Syria to support his forces in the seven-year civil war.
Boroujerdi met with Assad in Damascus on Monday, and hailed what he called "important victories" in their shared battle.
On Monday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the time when Iran's enemies can "hit and run" is over.
Recruiting Afghan Shia for Syrian war
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