ISRAEL-SYRIA FRONTIER AREA, GOLAN HEIGHTS (MAY 9, 2018) (REUTERS) – War between Israel and Iran is unlikely after the United States abandoned the international nuclear deal with Tehran, but conflict between the two regional powers will flare on in Syria, experts said on Wednesday (May 9).
With U.S. President Donald Trump in lockstep over reimposing economic sanctions on Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Russia to press its leader, Vladimir Putin, to rein in the Iranians along the Syrian front.
Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have been helping Syrian President Bashar Assad beat back a seven-year-old rebellion. Israel has carried out repeated air strikes against them and pledged to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria.
While world attention was focused on Tuesday (May 8) on Trump announcing that Washington was quitting the nuclear agreement, Syrian state media accused Israel of launching missiles at a target near Damascus.
Adding to war jitters in Israel, the Israeli military said before the reported attack that it instructed civic authorities on the occupied Golan Heights bordering Syria to ready bomb shelters, as well as deployed new defences and mobilised some reservist forces.
The Golan, which Israel captured from Syria in a 1967 war, was quiet on Wednesday, but strategic experts predicted the calm could not last.