Recent events in the Middle East would indicated that Israel, Syria and Iran are all making preparations for a regional war. According to information acquired by DEBKAfile, the conflict would likely ensue some time within the next two months.
An official statement out of Damascus was issued, stating that “the Syrian army has staged a live-fire drill in the eastern part of the country under war-like circumstances with the aim of testing its missile weaponry in confronting any attack.” These exercises have been regarded by both Turkey and Israel as a muscle-flexing demonstration of Syria’s strength. Video of the exercises made a brief appearance online before vanishing off the server.
The video, however, reportedly revealed a four-stage exercise, during which “the massive firing of self-propelled 120mm cannon, brigade-strength practice of 600mm and 300mm multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), offensive movements of Syrian armored brigades backed by ground-to-ground missiles with short 150-200 kilometer ranges. They drilled tactics for repelling enemy reinforcements rushed to combat arenas.”
According to Xinhua (Syria’s English language news service) Shaul Mofaz, former Israeli defense minister, said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may launch an attack on Israel in an attempt to distract attention from the bedlam taking place in his own country.
On the day following Syria’s military exercises Netanyahu, at a ceremony honoring the memory of Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, issued a statement which gave a hint as to Israel’s military intentions: “There are times when a decision may carry a heavy price, but the price for not deciding would be heavier.” Netanyahu went on to say, “I want to believe we will always have the courage and resolve for the right decisions to safeguard our future and security.”
And, to add to the mix, over the course of the past couple of weeks an assemblage of U.S. and Russian naval ships have converged on the waters around Iran and Syria. The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike group is reportedly in the eastern Mediterranean, just opposite of Syria. Russia also provided assistance to Syria by airlifting 72 anti-ship Yakhont missiles to the already war-torn country. Incidentally, the Yakhont missiles are capable of hitting naval targets from a distance of 300 kilometers.
Though the U.S. does have a military presence in the Mediterranean waters, the official stance regarding a strike on Iran is still aimed towards containment.