by: Rami Dabbas
If Iran uses its forces and fighters (which include Afghani and Pakistani forces) to launch an attack near the Israeli-Syrian border, it is possible that a war between Tel Aviv and Tehran could to occur sooner rather than later.
The number of non-Iranian mercenaries are very large. The number of Afghanis ranges between fifteen and twenty thousand fighters. Pakistani fighters between five and ten thousand fighters, in addition to thousands of Iraqis and Syrians. The number of fighters in the Iran Revolutionary Guard, which is considered a terrorist group, has between eight and ten thousand fighters, in addition to five or six thousand soldiers in the Iranian regular army, according to estimates of 2016.
In view of what has happened in 2018, the direct conflict between Israel and Iran is not only looming but it is already happening, and began with the penetration of an Iranian drone aircraft into Israeli airspace, and the dropping of Syrian artillery on an Israeli F-16 fighter after it launched attacks on Syrian and Iranian positions on the border between the two countries.
Iran hosts Al Qaeda terrorists in Tehran and also funds them. This is nothing new for a country which is considered as the main supporter for terrorism worldwide. Even the 9/11 attacks were facilitated by the planning of Iran in cooperation with Al-Qaeda terrorists.
We have to be careful about the increase of Iran’s influence in Syria and its military expansion on the border between the two countries. This could sooner or later cause a major conflict between the Israelis and Iranians.
In addition to the above mentioned concerns, tensions are due to other factors as well: the efforts of Hezbollah and Syria – with the help of Iran – to produce high-precision missiles in Lebanon and Syria that could paralyze Israel’s vital infrastructure and make life intolerable, and Iran’s efforts to turn Syria into a starting point for operations against Israel and a platform to highlight the power of the Levant on the other. But as Iran pursues an anti-status agenda that has often caused a conflict with Israel and the United States, it has shown that it is seeking to avoid conventional wars and the heavy losses of its forces. Instead, it relies on the implementation of proxy operations, terrorism and influential but non-lethal activities. However, they are also willing to venture into high-risk activities involving potential escalation.
US President Donald Trump has taken an anti-Iranian position since he ran for president and vowed to end the nuclear deal reached by the Obama administration with the Islamic Republic. Trump accused Tehran of destabilizing the region shortly after he took office and stressed the need to impose further sanctions on it’s nuclear and ballistic programs.
Israel is not the only country threatened by Iran, but Iran’s ballistic program may enable it to target other areas in the region, noting that Tehran now has the largest reservoir of ballistic missiles in the Middle East.
If war happens, it will involve Israel and the Arab states (mainly Saudi Arabia , UAE, Egypt and Jordan) against Iran to fight the Iranian threat and its expansion while the Iranian proxies –terrorist militias- and Hezbollah will side with Iran.