Photo: IDF Blog
In July 2011 Israeli President Shimon Peres said that “Assad must go.”But Syria’s southern neighbour is facing an increasingly dangerous situation on its borders as the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad weakens.
“Israel will miss the Assads,” a veteran intelligence source told The London Times. In reference to keeping peace in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights he added: “The Assads, father and son, were very nasty people. But with them, we knew that a promise was a promise, and an agreement was solid as the boulders of Mount Hermon.”
As the Syrian civil war continues into its 23rd month, Israel is considering creating a buffer zone reaching up to 10 miles inside Syria to secure the 47-mile border against the threat of Islamic radicals in the area.
Ranaan Gissin, who served as senior advisor to Israel’s former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, upped the ante when he told Al-Arabiya that “Revolutionary Guards [IRGC] from Iran, Hezbollah and other global jihads groups are taking control over some parts of the border” as Assad deploys his resources elsewhere.
Israel has already deployed a third Iron Dome missile defence system near its northern borders, strengthened its border fence while upgrading intelligence-gathering capabilities in the area, and bombed a Syrian military facility near Damascus.
The strike was partly meant to deter Hezbollah—the powerful Shiite group against which Israel fought a devastating 2006 war—from acquiring sophisticated antiaircraft and chemical weapons from Assad.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Despite the increasing danger, Israel is not about to switch sides in the conflict.
At the end of the day, Israel wants to see Assad fall because it would weaken Iran.
“There is no doubt that the very falling of this central link in the Iranian array is a blow to Iran and Hezbollah, and something Iran is doing everything to prevent,” a senior security official told Agence France-Press.
In August an IRGC member told The Wall Street Journal the Quds force—the foreign operations arm of the IRGC—is sending soldiers to Syria because “fighting for Syria is an integral part of keeping the Shiite Crescent intact,” referring to the geographical link between Shiites from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.