President Donald J. Trump’s sudden decision to pull out US Special Forces from Syria after he had a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan has caused tectonic changes in the strategic situation in the Middle East and could lead to a war between Iran and Israel anytime soon.
The Army Radio in Israel reported on Tuesday evening that the Israeli military is preparing for an Iranian cruise missile and drone attack similar to the one which hit Saudi Arabia at the beginning of September.
Unnamed Israeli government sources told Army Radio (Galatz) that the IDF is already on high alert and that the Israeli Security Cabinet will convene again to discuss the increasing Iranian threat and the situation in Syria.
An earlier Security Cabinet meeting two weeks ago also dealt with the rapidly changing strategic situation in the Middle East and the one in Syria and Iraq in particular.
At the time, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told Israelis that they should “always remember and apply the basic rule that guides us: Israel will defend itself, on its own, in the face of every threat.”
It was clear the Israeli leader was talking about the increasing Iranian threat to Israel and the American betrayal of its Kurdish allies in the war against Islamic State.
The news about the preparations for war with Iran coincided with a report that a Hezbollah operative had shot down an Israeli reconnaissance drone over Fatima Gate on the Lebanese Israeli border.
This was the fourth Israeli drone in two months time which crashed or was downed in Lebanese airspace and the incident shows that Hezbollah is making good on its promise that the era of free IAF movement in the Lebanese skies is over.
In Syria and Iraq, in the meantime, tectonic strategic changes are taking place which could have major consequences for Israel’s overall security situation.
Trump’s decision to pull out US troops from Syria has not only created a new war zone where hundreds of thousands of Kurds are abandoning their homes after Turkey immediately filled the vacuum and sent in its army and local Syrian Sunni Islamist militias, but it also will have consequences for the Israeli conflict with Iran.
The Iranian-Russian backed pro-Assad coalition has now suddenly got the possibility to add 40 percent of Syrian soil to the territories it already re-conquered since the Russians intervened in the war in September 2015.
The Kurdish-controlled region in Syria includes most of the Syrian oil fields which were a major source of income for both ISIS, which controlled them until the defeat of the Caliphate, and the SDF.
The deal between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan which followed an American Turkish agreement about the removal of the Kurdish dominated Syrian Democratic Forces from a so-called ‘safe zone’ along the Turkish border in Syria is also good for Iran and bad for Israel.
The deal will most likely prevent a complete Turkish takeover of the border region where the Kurdish autonomous project had been flourishing and this is exactly what Iran wanted.
The Shiite Islamist regime in Tehran repeatedly warned Turkey not to fall into the ‘American trap’ but the warning was ignored by Erdogan until Putin intervened.
After the US pull-out from Syria Putin showed he understands the Middle East better than his American counterpart and has now indefinitely become the new ‘sheriff in town’ in the troubled region.
The Russian leader first restored Russia’s influence over Syria and recently stepped-up efforts to bring the Arab Gulf States and Turkey under his influence.
Iran, meanwhile, reassessed the situation in the Middle East and recently convened the High Council of Commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
They came to the conclusion that Iran had entered the second stage of the Islamic Revolution which would include “the global mobilization of Islam.”
The IRGC commanders, furthermore, concluded that Iran was no longer facing a “viable threat” and could “ascent as a leading regional power.”
“Today we have become powerful and invincible and all the enemy’s options orchestrated against the country have been weakened and cannot confront us and this reality has been proven today and is visible,” IRGC commander Hossein Salami told his brass.
The IRGC head then specified he was talking about the decline in US power and the perceived weakness of the Israeli military.
He also made clear that for the Iranian regime Israel was the primary threat to its interests and said the goal of eliminating the ‘Zionist regime’ had become “achievable”.
Salami claimed the IRGC had the “capability to annihilate” Israel and that the country must “be wiped off the world (map) as soon as possible.”
Qassem Soleimani the shrewd commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force repeated during the same meeting that Israel must be “wiped off the world’s geographic history” and added that this should be done by the so-called resistance axis of Iranian proxies.
Soleimani openly spoke about the “assistance” his Quds Force is delivering to the Ansar Allah militia in Yemen and about the same type of aid to Iraq and Syria.
Brig.-Gen. Abbas Nilforoushan, the deputy commander of the IRGC’s Operational Command also addressed the upcoming war against Israel and claimed the IRGC had developed a “multi-faceted strategy” against the Jewish state that would end the war before it could develop into a prolonged conflict.
Iran would use its large missile arsenal and its many proxies to decide the fate of Israel Nilforoushan bragged before explaining that Iran has already encircled the country and that “nothing would be left” of the Jewish state.
To further weaken the pro-Israel alliance, Iran is now trying to push the US army out of Iraq.
The regime in Tehran allowed Falih al-Fayyadh a leader of the Iranian-founded and backed al-Hashd al-Sha’abi umbrella organization of predominantly Shiite militias to pay a secret visit to Washington where the Trump Administration tried to stave-off fresh attacks against US targets in Iraq.
The Administration denied any involvement in recent attacks against Iran-related targets in Iraq implying Israel was behind them.
After al-Fayyadh’s secret visit to Washington Iraqi and Iranian media as well as the Iraqi government launched a campaign against Israel’s perceived military campaign against Iraq while Al-Hashd al-Sha’abi leaders made clear Israel had now become a target for them.
They also made clear al-Hashd al-Sha’abi could work in tandem with other Iranian proxies in the Middle East to attack Israel.
The Iraqi paramilitary force has together with the Quds Force recently upgraded a military base 50 kilometers south of Baghdad and turned it into the “primary base for missile and drone attacks on Israel.”
Iran recently also transferred Iraqi al-Hashd al-Sha’abi militias to southern Lebanon while Soleimani ordered Hajj Hashem the Hezbollah commander in charge of building up Iranian forces on the Golan Heights to accelerate the deployment of these forces on the mountainous plateau.
Despite Israeli actions to deprive Hezbollah from guided precision missiles, Iran has now also succeeded to deliver so-called Labeik missile conversion kits to the Lebanese terror group.