Israel recently conveyed a warning to Syria through a third party that it would hold Damascus accountable if Lebanese Hezbollah launched attacks on the Jewish state, Israeli and European sources said on Friday.How firm is Israel's warning? She will hold Syria accountable even if the attack does not come out of Syria:
The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the warning stemmed largely from Israeli concerns that Hezbollah would launch salvoes of cross-border rockets to coincide with any major Israeli offensive in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
A European source familiar with the matter said the message conveyed to Damascus said Syria could be targeted by Israel even if Hezbollah's attack emanated from Lebanese soil. (emphasis added)So let me get this straight: Israel will make what are best half-hearted incursions to stop Hamas from launching rockets directly from Gaza until faced with world condemnation, yet will hold Syria (but not Iran) accountable for attacks that come out of Lebanon.
Will Syria take that threat seriously? Probably--now if Israel would just give the terrorists in Gaza a reason for taking them seriously as well.
UPDATE: Noah Pollak at Contentions frames Israel's warning to Syria in the context of the Bush Doctrine: Post 9-11, we will now longer allow sit back and allow the asymmetrical warfare where countries get away with proxy militias and terrorist groups instead of standard armies to do their dirty work. Pollak thinks it worked:
Note that Hezbollah indeed refrained from opening a northern front against Israel during the recent warfare in Gaza, an eventuality that many people (myself included) speculated might be triggered should the IDF make too much progress in degrading Hamas. Perhaps the IDF did not sufficiently damage Hamas to trigger a wider conflict with Hamas’s allies; or perhaps the Bush Doctrine might have something to say for itself after all — if it is only invoked.Maybe so, but the fact remains that Israel is still unable to hold Hamas responsible for its attacks on her citizens.
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