The Race to the Border, Iran’s Shia Land Bridge to the Mediterranean & An Israeli War Emerging

When the Israeli’s hit Iranian Shia militia’s on September 07, 2017 they hit a factory devoted to missile research, the town was Masyaf in western Syria and it was the first time the Israeli’s ever reached deep into Syrian territory.  The Hizbollah target was well over 300km from the Israeli border, even still, P.M. Netanyahu calculated that Russian anti-aircraft batteries would remain silent.  Why was he right?

The Iranian crescent proves U.S. war planners illusory gains that wars are won from the air.  Iranian subterfuge is growing, as is the reach and grasp of Israel.  With the breakdown of U.S. regional policy aims throughout the Mesopotamian region, we’re witnessing Iranian gains from the U.S. led defeat of the Islamic State.  The irony remains that U.S. war planners throughout defense knew not to permit media coverage to drive, frame the engagement, but they have and the Iranians are cleaning up moving west toward Israel.

Having commanded a battery in the Golan, Netanyahu commanded Putin in Sochi that the Israeli’s would permit al-Assad his writ in Syria, but not as a satrap of Iran.

The triangulation between Russia, Syria, Iran and Israel rests on wether Iran can muster the strategic acumen of building a land bridge from Baghdad through Syria to fortify its Lebanese proxies.  If Hezbollah can regain its composure, the Iranian will have encircled both Riyadh and Jerusalem.

The overland route begins in Baghdad, moving west to Syria it converges at Al-Bukamal, right at the Syrian-Iraqi border, from there its a short flight to the eastern Mediterranean.

We shouldn’t preclude that the American’s can’t deliver a diplomatic coup, yet gains on the ground in this part of the world have profound currency.  While the American’s seek to counter Iranian subterfuge in Golan with a ceasefire between Syria and rebel forces in its southern tier, we must remember that Turkey, the regional Sunni hegemon has left vacant its desire to topple Damascus, having turned inward to eliminate Kurdish domestic rivals.  No one can tell how this mixture will unfold between these rival dominant camps.

The future may be discerned by watching Riyadh and Amman.  Jordan has turned to normalize its relations with Syria while the House of Saudi remains locked in a stalemate in Yemen.  The only two actors with room to move and the American’s and the Iranians.

Iran is getting natural gas, mining, agricultural, commercial communication and oil rights in Syria.  While the Israeli’s believe a wedge can be driven between Moscow and Tehran, the game of action and maneuver resides with Iran.

The Israeli director general of Ministry of Intelligence, Chagai Tzuriel,  has openly stated that Russia needs Iranian ground troops to secure any regional hold in Syria.  What we’re looking at is a set match between Iran and Israel.

The Syrian civil war has exhausted Hizbollah.  It does not want a war on two fronts.  Although capable of mustering fighting columns of brigade scale battles, it remains deeply depleted of resources, hence the need for a land bridge linking Baghdad & Damascus.

Expect a game changer to emerge from team Trump around October 15, when he publicly derides the Obama deal struck with Iran.

This game of rubix-cube is deadly, and it isn’t fit for statesman.  What’s needed going forward is a open confrontation with Iran.  In a word:  offense.


About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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