Israeli Strikes Syria in Expansion of Civil War
As the Syrian civil war enters its 3rd year the action has been getting uncomfortably close to Israel. This week, the Israeli Air Force was reported to have carried out air strikes on the outskirts of Damascus causing enormous explosions that could be felt throughout the city. While the Israeli defense establishment is keeping quiet on these strikes for now, according to sources quoted by the New York Times, the indented target was advanced weaponry of Iranian origin headed for Hezbollah gorillas in southern Lebanon.
Video footage uploaded to YouTube by Syrian activists showed a series of explosions that lit up the night sky over Damascus.
Usually military activity involving Israel, Lebanon, and Syria is a recipe for disaster concerning the Israeli economy. During the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006 the entire north of Israel was under constant rocket fire from Hezbollah in Lebanon which kept around 1 million Israeli’s in bomb shelters and away from their workplaces. The economic impact of this 34 day conflict was NIS 8.2 billion in additional military costs plus NIS 7 billion in compensation for rebuilding in Israel (around $4.2 billion USD in combined costs).
As today’s current situation in Syria and Lebanon is in flux, it’s impossible to tell if this week’s air strikes will lead to an all out war between Israel and its neighbors to the north. One possible scenario could be that if Assad falls this will lead Hezbollah to ignite another civil war in Lebanon in order to consolidate power without support from Assad who is a key part of the Hezbollah-Syrian-Iranian axis.