The 7-year-old Syrian civil war is entering a phase that could put Israel on a collision course with the Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah axis and a Middle East meltdown, according to the Crisis Group, a think tank/advocacy organization.
The think tank also says that Russia is the only country that can prevent an all-out war involving the Israelis and the axis. That’s because the United States, under the Trump administration, has taken on a diminished role in the conflict, says Ofer Zalzberg, a Jerusalem-based analyst for the Crisis Group.
“Only Moscow is in a position to mediate a bolstering of the de-escalation agreement. Unless it does, the rules of the Syrian game are likely to be worked out through attack and response, with risk of escalation,” the report stated.
The Crisis Group’s report, “Israel, Hezbollah and Iran: Preventing Another War in Syria,” was released Wednesday, Feb. 7. It is based on interviews of diplomats and defense officials in Jerusalem, Tehran, Beirut, Washington, Moscow and Amman, The Times of Israel reported.
“The report does not indicate that a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is imminent, as both sides currently see value in maintaining a relative calm,” The Times of Israel reported, “but implies that as the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis wrests back full control over the country, the Lebanese terrorist group could start antagonizing Israel from southern Syria, where it enjoys something of an advantage, as it has few significant assets in that area for the Israel Defense Forces to strike.”
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