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Israel Lost in Syria. But It Already Has a Backup Plan

Israel was betting on "moderate" rebels gutting Syria. Its backup plan is to wear down Hezbollah until it can "deal" with Iran

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The entire world celebrated after Russian President Vladimir Putin invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join the real world during the Sore Loser Summit in Moscow on March 9. 

But the Israelis are not so easily convinced, unfortunately. 

<figcaption>They lost the battle for Syria, but the war continues</figcaption>
They lost the battle for Syria, but the war continues

Now that it has been denied a nice chunk of Syrian territory (as a buffer zone, of course), Israel has set its sights once again on Lebanon. 

Former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney pointed us to Israel's Plan B:

AlterNet has republished a real eye-opener from The Arab Weekly about growing tensions between Israel and Hezbollah. The thesis of the piece is that while "mutual deterrence"  has provided for an uneasy ceasefire, the conflict in Syria has made it clear that a new war is almost certain — and it will "dwarf" the 2006 conflict:

The focus on Hezbollah in recent years has been on the party’s intervention in Syria rather than its 3-decade struggle against Israel. But Hezbollah’s leadership is acutely aware that an Israeli government may conclude that there will never be a better time to launch an offensive against its old enemy than while Hezbollah is fighting in Syria.

Hezbollah is still very focused on the front with Israel with many of its top fighters, especially anti-tank missile teams and rocket units, remaining in Lebanon rather than being deployed to Syria.

The western media has completely ignored Israel's role in the conflict, but Israel has never denied that it periodically bombs Syria:

Netanyahu has said that Israel has carried out dozens of strikes to prevent weapons smuggling to the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah via Syria. 

Or as the Times of Israel puts it:

Despite Russia’s alliance with Iran and Hezbollah in Syria, Israel has reportedly carried out a number of airstrikes against weapons convoys heading to Lebanon, vowing that it won’t let advanced missile systems or chemical weapons fall into Hezbollah’s hands.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that Hezbollah has played a decisive role in combating ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria — which will make any future Israeli war against Hezbollah a serious diplomatic crisis. 

Israel has also found other creative ways of trying to impose its will on Syria:

Israel has been providing logistic support and medical assistance to opposition forces – including Jabhet al-Nusra terror organization – fighting President Bashar Assad.

Israeli warplanes have repeatedly targeted Syrian Army positions under the pretext of preventing sophisticated weapons from reaching the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

Yes, Netanyahu came to Moscow and cried about Iran. But if you think Israel is interested in joining the real world — think again. 

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