Monday, January 28, 2013

Israel Getting Up In Syria's Business

And just when your thought it couldn't get too much worse in the Middle East, along comes Israeli hardliners to make me regret thinking we've reached a logical nadir.

Any sign that Syria's grip on its chemical weapons is slipping as it battles an armed uprising could trigger Israeli military strikes, Israel's vice premier said on Sunday.

Silvan Shalom confirmed a media report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had last week convened a meeting of security chiefs to discuss the civil war in Syria and the state of its suspected chemical arsenal.

So yes, this was going on as the votes were being counted in Israeli election last week.  Charming, huh?

Should Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas or rebels battling forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad obtain Syria's chemical weapons, Shalom told Israel's Army Radio: "It would dramatically change the capabilities of those organizations."

Such a development would be "a crossing of all red lines that would require a different approach, including even preventive operations," he said, alluding to military intervention for which Israeli generals have said plans have been readied.

"The concept, in principle, is that this (chemical weapons transfer) must not happen," Shalom said. "The moment we begin to understand that such a thing is liable to happen, we will have to make decisions."

So yeah, in the chaos that is Syria right now,  if it looks like anybody's going for Syria's chemical arsenal, the Israelis are going to start a war, which of course will draw in the United States, Iran, and well...things get really bad from there.

Here's hoping cooler heads prevail.  I personally think this is a play to force the US hand to intervene in Syria before Israel "feels it has to."  Which of course, could lead to Iran following up.  All this is pretty awful, frankly.

Happy Monday, right?

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