In Syria, A Growing Strategic Threat to Israel — And Risk of Escalation

Bottom Line: As the Syrian regime consolidates power, with the help of Russia, Iran, and Iranian proxy Hezbollah, its combined forces are growing bolder, presenting an increasing strategic threat to Israel. In response, Israel has begun adjusting its policy of selective intervention, recently targeting Assad air defense systems in response to Iranian incursions. Israel’s increased military involvement in Syria, however, risks unintentional escalation with Tehran.

Background: Since 1974, Syria has remained an active enemy of the state of Israel, but one that can be predictably deterred from taking broad conventional action. This realization allowed Israel to maintain a semblance of stability along the countries’ shared border, but with the advent of the Syrian civil war, this began to change.

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