Monday, July 17, 2006

Rumour, and Rumours of War

Arutz Sheva is carrying a report the Iranian Fajr missiles are being launched into Israel and there is a rumour that upwards of a 100 military advisers are currently in Beirut. Iran officially denies allegations of any military personnel in Lebanon.

Ynet News is carrying a report the British Prime Minister is suggesting that a multi-national peacekeeping mission be deployed along the Lebanon border and apparently the idea is under advisement by the European Union. What should be interesting to watch is what countries would actually pony up and contribute troops to such a mission considering the history of the multi-national deployments of peacekeeping forces to Lebanon.

Michael Oren in this New Republic article (registration required) argues that the lessons of the Six Days War need to be remembered and advances the idea that Israel should launch an offensive on Syria in order to avoid a larger regional conflict.
The answer lies in delivering an unequivocal blow to Syrian ground forces deployed near the Lebanese border. By eliminating 500 Syrian tanks--tanks that Syrian President Bashar Al Assad needs to preserve his regime--Israel could signal its refusal to return to the status quo in Lebanon. Supporting Hezbollah carries a prohibitive price, the action would say. Of course, Syria could respond with missile attacks against Israeli cities, but given the dilapidated state of Syria's army, the chances are greater that Assad will simply internalize the message. Presented with a choice between saving Hezbollah and staying alive, Syria's dictator will probably choose the latter. And the message of Israel's determination will also be received in Tehran.

Of course, he does seem to ignore the idea that any offensive launched on Syria could potentially ignite a larger regional conflict, nor does he offer any reasons why Iran would act contrary to the defensive pact signed with Syria a month ago and would choose not to get aid in the defense of Syria. Perhaps Oren feels that meeting the Iranians forces now is preferable to meeting them at some unknown later date in the future?

1 comment:

Gordon Pasha said...

Iran cannot get land forces to Syria without going through either Turkey or Iraq. iran does not have much of an air force, and if they tried to air lift troops, they would have to violate the air space of Turkey, Iraq, or perhaps Oman and Saudia Arabia, in which case they would likely be shot down. I think that all Iran could do would be to provide missiles, which Boy Assad would likely be too timid to use, given the probable response from Israel.