After years of working covertly to destabilise Syria, why has Israel waited until now to intervene in the conflict between the Assad regime and the ISIS / Al Nusra Front Islamic extremists. Israel usually only attacks when attaced, preferring to manipulate political developments in the middle east from the shadows. In spite of that the government of Benjamin Netenyahu has chosen to directly attack Syria.
Overnight (Wed. evening/Thursday early morning), Israel attacked a Syrian military base near the town of Masyaf at about 3:00 a.m. which Syria has now confirmed in a statement that warns of "serious repercussions". Syria reported two troop deaths in the attack. It appears to have been a massive strike - grainy photos, like the one below, show a large fireball lighting up the night sky outside of Masyaf.
The U.S. has recently seemed to be backing away from the route to militarily intervene in the embattled nation, instead choosing to focus its saber-rattling and destabilization efforts on other theaters, notably North Korea. The consequence of this has been an apparent winding down of the long-running conflict, now entering its seventh year, in which ISIS had the upper hand until Russia and Iran, pissed off by Obama and David Cameron having repeatedly stated that the west's priority was to depose Assad rather than to oppose terrorism. What we must ask ourselves is why this has made the Israelis panic, because this military intervention could end so disastrously for Israel and the whole of the middle east it can only have happened as a result of panic .
With support from Russia, Iran and Lebanon, the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad has managed to retake vast swaths of territory, all while surviving and growing stronger over the course of a largely foreign-funded onslaught. As a result, many of the governments that were instrumental in funding and arming the so-called “moderate” opposition have begun to extricate themselves, unwilling to further test the resilience of Assad, the Syrian people or Syria's powerful allies, Russia, China and Iran.
Israeli media and defense officials quickly claimed that the strike at Masyaf was on a chemical weapons facility: they know the "humanitarian" angle sells in the West, especially when coupled with allegations of civilians being gassed. Currently, this is putting the dubious and contested claim that the Syrian government attacked Khan Sheikhoun with sarin gas back in the spotlight at a time when Israel is eager to sell war for regime change while casting its actions in terms of protecting and defending civilians from a brutal dictator. While it seems doubtful that Assad, who whatever else he may be is not a stupid man, would launch an attack with an illegal weapon against civilians when his forces were on the brink of victory, what is certainly untrue in that story is the allegation that Sarin was the gas used. News photos and video showed aid workers helping affected civilians (who were sitting up and smiling, with their faces uncovered and wearing T shirts and shorts. Sarin is so toxic full hazmat suits and breating apparatus would have been required, and in a densely populated area many more people would have died.
With a resolution to the long running conflict within reach, recent threats from Israel’s government to assassinate Assad by bombing his residence have appeared out of the blue. The first sign that Israel was not ready to let go in Syria even if Washington was came when, According to the Jerusalem Post, a senior Israeli official on a recent visit to Russia warned the Kremlin that if Iran continues to "extend its reach" in Syria, Israel would bomb the presidential palace in Damascus.
Israel’s comments should come as no surprise, however, although the foreign-funded and manufactured conflict in Syria was always accredited to the USA and Saudi Arabia, Syria has long been a thorn in Israels side and stood in the way of US and Saudi geopolitical ambitions. The only real surprise is Tel Aviv’s growing isolation in pushing for the further escalation of the conflict.
WikiLeaks sheds light on the origins of the war
Though Israel has avoided being labeled a major player in bid to depose Assad, Israel has a long tradition of cooperating with Saudi Arabia economically, harbours ambitions of destroying Iran (that rivalry goes back to the time of Cyrus The Great (around 600 BC), and has long-standing issues with Syria (which were already old when Cyrs The Great was a lad. Only Wikileaks has illuminated the long standing ambition in Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh to remove the secular regime in Damascus. State Department diplomatic cables from the period when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, released by WikiLeaks last year have shown has that in 2006, five years before the conflict in Syria kicked off, the government of Israel proposed a plan to overthrow the Assad government by engineering sectarian strife in the country, and put a Sunni Muslim regime in place, thus isolating Syria from its strongest regional ally, Iran.
Israel then put this plan, which would also involve Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Egypt in fomenting the "breakdown" of the Assad regime as a way of weakening both Iran and Hezbollah — with the effect of empowering both Israel and the Gulf monarchies, two seemingly disparate forces in the region that are becoming increasingly allied.