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DAMASCUS, Syria – The recent Israeli airstrikes inadvertently may have given the Syrian government — embattled by a civil war against armed opposition fighters and foreign Islamist militants — an unexpected opportunity, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
In an effort to unite the warring factions within his own country, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could reshape regional perceptions that Israel and the rebel opposition within his country are fighting together, according to analysts.
Such a development would work to the advantage not only of Syria but also Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah. The intention would be to draw Israel into the conflict and force the rebel forces to seriously consider reuniting with the government to fight a common foe.
While Syria has accused foreign militant forces of targeting Syria’s infrastructure, sources believe that the Israeli bombing of Syria could be exploited to get militants to target Israel instead.
Indeed, opposition forces within Syria condemned two recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
The secretary general of the Palestinian Fatah Movement in Lebanon, Fathi Abu al-Aradat, called on Islamic nations to reconsider their position on Syria and defend the Arab country against “Israeli aggression.”
“We are fighting the Zionist regime and its aggression,” he said, adding that his Palestinian group, which is Sunni, would side with any Arab nation against Israel.
“Since Syria is an Arab country, defending it is a national, moral, ethnic, Arab and humanitarian obligation,” he said.
His and other reactions follow two recent but separate Israeli air strikes inside Syria.
One hit missiles Syria allegedly was sending to Hezbollah. The other target was the Jamraya military research facility visible from Damascus. Sources told WND that the targets contained unassembled missile components also thought to be destined to Hezbollah. The Jamraya facility similarly was targeted by an Israeli airstrike last January.
Hezbollah, which fully backs Assad’s government, know what will get on Israel’s nerves and appears to be playing it to the hilt.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in a recent speech said that in response to the Israeli bombing of the military research center just outside Damascus for allegedly supplying missiles to his resistance group, Syria would supply what he referred to as “game-changing” weapons.
He also raised the ante by suggesting that Hezbollah would aid in liberating the Golan Heights, which was part of Syria but has been held by Israel since the 1967 war.
Nasrallah said the airstrikes were meant not only to neutralize Syria because of its support for Hezbollah and its alliance with Israel’s nemesis – Iran – but to prevent advanced weapons from reaching his group.
Hezbollah already is assessed to have thousands of long-range missiles that can hit anywhere in Israel.
Nasrallah also has reinforced his commitment to the protection of the al-Assad regime itself by underscoring his strong support for the Syrian army – something which sources say has gone well beyond his previous declarations of support for the Syrian people.
Sources say he has given the strong indication that the matter is not just protecting the Syrian people but salvaging the al-Assad regime because it has become a strategic issue for the region.
This was underscored by Nasrallah in a meeting he held with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikheil Bagdanov in Beirut two days before heading to Tehran for a two-day World Summit of Ulama and Islamic awakening.
Such a meeting with Bagdanov openly displayed the close ties between Hezbollah and Moscow while showing that Israel’s actions potentially could have international repercussions.
Al-Assad now has announced that despite the bombings to prevent the flow of weapons to Hezbollah, Syria would continue sending Hezbollah the advanced weapons.
In effect, sources say, Israel has handed al-Assad an opportunity to goad Israel to take action against Syria and thereby give the perception that it is working with the opposition to topple his regime.
In pressing this strategy, Syria’s foreign ministry sent letters to the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council maintaining that Israel’s “aggression” shows the links between Jerusalem and terrorist groups operating in Syria, including the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front.
Iran and Hezbollah have vowed to protect the al-Assad regime at all costs. Indeed, Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi told WND in an interview that Syria has become the “axis of resistance,” reaffirming that the al-Assad regime will survive despite heavy Western pressure to topple it.
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