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August 29, 2021 1:28 pm

Israeli Analyst: Iran Entrenching Itself on Israel’s Border With the Syrian Golan

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avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

An old Israeli tank with a flag overlooking the Syrian town of Quneitra in the Golan Heights on Feb. 11, 2018. Photo: Hadas Parush / Flash90

Iran is slowly entrenching itself in the Syrian Golan region at the border with Israel, a top Israeli analyst stated on Sunday.

The area of conflict is taking place in southern Syria, where certain rebel groups are still holding out after 10 years of civil war have seen the ruling regime of dictator Bashar Assad take back most of the country.

On the Syria Golan and the Hauran region, composed of south Syria and north Jordan, the Syrian army along with Hezbollah and Iran-backed militias — propped up by Russian political support — are besieging the city of Daraa, one of the last redoubts of the rebellion.

Veteran analyst Ehud Yaari writes on the Israeli website N12 that it is only a matter of time before Daraa falls, and the rest of what remains of the rebellion in the area will likely follow.

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Jordan’s King Abdullah is attempting a delicate balancing act, argues Yaari, noting that the king has expressed a willingness to renew ties with Assad and help do the same with the rest of the Arab world, but does not want a Hezbollah-Iranian presence on his border.

This is particularly the case because divisions of the Syrian regular army in the region are now essentially controlled by Iran and Hezbollah, of which Abdullah is well aware.

Israel, says Yaari, faces a difficult situation: it does not want a war with the Syrian army, to upset Russia, or to gamble on the various rebel groups in the region.

Thus, the most likely scenario, he posits, is that Israel will reconcile itself to the current situation unless missiles are deployed in the area.

The downside to this is that it means Iran will have successfully extended its Hezbollah front line in Lebanon to Israel’s Syrian border. There is no indication that either Russia or Assad himself would be willing to prevent this, which means the establishment of an Iranian-controlled area stretching from the Jordanian border to the Mediterranean Sea.

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