ON June 4, 1982, the Israeli Air Force launched a violent attack on southern and western Beirut. Israel claimed that the attack was in retaliation for the attempted assassination of the Israeli ambassador in London Shlomo Argov.
As a result of the attack, Lebanon turned into a battlefield between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Israel and Syria. There were many reasons for this war and Israel took advantage of them to create a situation in which Arabs fought each other.
Israel killed many people and then withdrew from Beirut after sending a message to the rest of the Arab world that Israelis were able to occupy any Arab capital and no one could stop them, not even the Arab League. The international community did not even dare to question Israel’s behavior.
A few days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would intervene in southern Syria if there was evidence that Iran was smuggling weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
American news media reported meetings between Americans and Israelis on how to secure Syrian chemical weapons, and Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak said that Israel would also intervene militarily if Syria attempted to provide chemical weapons and missiles to Hezbollah.
Israel will take advantage of what is happening in Syria to achieve its goals. Syria is now on the verge of civil war with the Syrian army divided and fighting each other. There is resistance from different sectors of Syrian society and there is a great possibility that they might turn against each other. The Kurds currently control three provinces in Syria after the Syrian army withdrew from them.
The situation is heating up in Syria. A Western diplomat said that America and Israel are planning a massive war in Syria. The same source added that the main reason for two Iranian battleships visiting Syrian waters was to prepare for a possible Israeli attack. The message Iran is trying to send is that any Israeli attack on Syria means an Iranian-Israeli war. We must also remember that the Russian fleet is based in the Syrian ports of Latakia and Tartus.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Israeli army is conducting military training over ground which is similar in geography to southern Lebanon. The Israelis have for the purposes of training prepared trenches and bunkers similar to the ones used by Hezbollah. According to the war scenario, sniper teams and missile units will be deployed and a brigade unit will advance toward southern Lebanon to cross the border.
It looks like a cold war has started between the East and the West. Russia and China are now standing with the Assad regime against the United States and Europe, which are defending their own interests and the interests of Israel.
Although it is clear that there will be a bloody battle, the world seems only to be interested in the Olympics and in James Bond protecting Queen Elizabeth.
Syria is under siege and the future of the Syrian people is not in their hands. And if this scenario comes to pass, which I believe it will, and Damascus falls, shall we remain silent for fear of being accused of anti-semitism?
– Hassan Tahsin is an Egyptian writer and political analyst. He can be reached at email@example.com