Israel-Syria tensions mount

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, seems perplexed; he is very much aware that the transmission of weapons and advanced missiles from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon has not stopped, however he is unable to deal with the matter as he would have done in the past – by sending planes to destroy them – as he knows that Syria’s response may be more aggressive now than it might have been before.

This week's Sunday Times published a story on Sunday by their Israeli cprrespondent, Uzi Mahnaimi, reporting that Syria’s army have deployed a sophisticated ground-to-ground missile which can affect targets in Tel Aviv. The piece added that missiles are ready to be used if Israeli aircraft launched a new raid on Syrian sites.

This reporter is closely related to Israel’s security services; therefore I was not surprised when he revealed that “satellites have spotted these missiles”.

Mahnaimi also published a quote by Uzi Rubin, an Israeli defence engineer, analyst and military expert, stating that Tishreen missiles were so accurate; they could “cause serious damages and stop all Israeli flights, even if they did not reach Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport".

Netanyahu considers the transfer of military missiles and equipment to Hezbollah in Lebanon a declaration of war – one he will not allow.

He also warned against a Syrian response to the Israeli raid, confirming that such an action will lead to the overthrow of the regime in Damascus – whether it is by intensive Israeli raids on Syria or an intervention to occupy the capital.

The Israeli prime minister’s threats maybe part of a psychological warfare. Netanyahu recently received a letter from Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, intimating that any further Israeli attacks will be met immediately with dire consequences.

Moscow underscored its position by rejecting Netanyahu's request to not give Syria S-300 anti aircraft missiles. Netanyahu previously managed to stop such a delivery to Iran on his last trip to Moscow; however, things did not go as successfully for him this time round.

Maybe Netanyahu feels offended. Firstly his efforts to prevent the delivery of missiles into Syria at such a sensitive time failed.

Secondly any response to an Israeli strike could spark a regional, even international war, and one that he will be the cause of. However, an individual like Benjamin Netanyahu is not one who would ever hesitate to ignite a war; nor dither about dragging the US and the West into a war they are trying to avoid.

Netanyahu spoke the truth when he said: “The Middle East is going through one of its most sensitive periods in decades, with the situation in Syria at the forefront. We are following the changes and have prepared ourselves for anything that may come."

The question now is how long will the regional situation remain in its current state of precarious balance? Time is definitely not in Israel's favour, and it could possibly be the biggest loser if such a war began.