Why Syria Matters: Israel’s Standing in the Middle-East

The recent clashes between Israel and joint Iranian-Syrian forces highlight a long-standing tension in the region, one complicated by the Syrian conflict.

Since the 1980s, an anti-Israel alliance, termed the Axis of Resistance, formed between the theocratic republic of Iran, the secular dictatorship of Syria, and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. This alliance has only gained strength since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq and the civil war in Syria.

With an impending Syrian Army offensive against rebel-held parts of Daraa governorate in the south, Israel only feels more threatened. As anti-Israel forces encroach on its border at the Golan Heights, Israel is more likely to lash out like it did on May 10. This is likely why Syrian high command has chosen to focus its offensive on the eastern part of Daraa province rather than the west or Quneitra.

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