Report: Israeli Security Establishment Fears Long-Term Impact of Syria Strikes
Israel’s security establishment is reportedly concerned that the US-led airstrikes in Syria could harm its long-term interests in the region, the Jewish state’s Channel 2 reported on Saturday.
The US, Britain, and France struck targets in Damascus on Friday in retaliation for the Syrian regime’s reported use of chemical weapons against the rebel-held town of Douma. The attack killed over 40 people and wounded hundreds.
In the aftermath, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed “Israel’s full support” for the strikes. However, according to an anonymous source cited by Channel 2, “the attack will allow the Americans to say, ‘We did what was necessary’ and leave Syria.”
President Donald Trump has expressed his intention to pull all US forces out of Syria in the near future. Israel is worried that this will allow Iran, which along with Russia is a staunch ally of the ruling regime of Bashar al-Assad, to undertake a military buildup in Syria that will threaten Israel’s security.
“Another fear that has arisen in the security establishment,” the source added, “is that the Western powers’ operation will provide Russia with the excuse to ignore Israel’s requests and expedite the sale of advanced anti-aircraft weapons to Assad’s army, something that would harm the IDF’s freedom of action.”
Israel has not intervened in the Syrian civil war, but has undertaken airstrikes to destroy Syrian and Iranian assets that it sees as direct threats.