Israel is broadening the scope of its war on Iran and Hizballah in Syria to additional regions and even possibly outside its boundaries. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spelled this out at Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, May 27: “We are working to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons…against Iran’s consolidated military presence against us… and operating against the transfer of deadly weapons from Syria to Lebanon or their manufacture in Lebanon. All of these weapons are for use against the State of Israel and it is our right – based on the right of self-defense – to prevent their manufacture or transfer.”A day earlier, the authoritative Asharq Al-Awsat reported: ”Tel Aviv has informed Moscow about its decision to ‘expand the scope of its red lines’ in Syria by preventing Iran from consolidating its military presence and that of its militias, including Hezbollah, across all Syrian territories, and not just in the south.” This publication is linked to the Saudi royal house and when it cites “Western diplomatic sources,” it must be presumed to have checked with the Saudi strongman Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman before going into print.Israel’s military effort – usually unacknowledged – was confined hitherto to operations against Iranian bases, command centers and weapons deliveries in southern and central Syria, or against facilities shared by Hizballah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards units. All the signs, therefore, indicate that, henceforth, Israel’s operations are to be broadened in range up to the Syrian-Iraqi border and in the west up the Lebanese border, possibly impinging on Syria’s neighbors. This would tie in with the fact that Iranian forces in eastern Syria depend on fighting strength and supplies coming in from the pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq, while in the west, they are heavily supported by Hizballah from Lebanon.
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