This is what precisely makes a war against Syria (which is also an attack on Iran because of a mutual defense pact) so dangerous, as compared to countries like Iraq or Libya. They have the capability to hit at the American homeland, and one shouldn’t dismiss the fact that it will happen as because the threat sounds like rhetoric from just another random third-world nation madman.
When you go to war with a country in the Middle East, such as Iran or Syria, you better be prepared to fight for more than a thousand years. Why? Because they already have been at war back and forth that long with other nations and kingdoms. They are hardened and used to it, whereas the American memory of history and events lasts 24 hours and the “stomach” for war lasts maybe a few years, at best, as proven by the prolonged wars the U.S. is already involved in.
With the White House closer to launching a surgical military strike on Syria, questions swirl over the extent to which such an attack could trigger a wave of terrorism directed at the U.S. and Israel.
Some analysts say that Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia fighting in support of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, likely would be inspired to ramp up operations in Iran’s “shadow war” with the U.S. and its allies.
Tensions between the West and Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program have fueled the protracted and secretive war — a tit-for-tat exchange marked most often by operations and attacks carried out from the Middle East to Eastern Europe and Asia by Hezbollah and Israel’s lead intelligence agency, the Mossad.
“These are groups that have long memories,” Matthew Levitt, who heads the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said Monday.
“I think that the type of asymmetric activities that we’ve been seeing already in the context of the shadow war over Iran’s nuclear program would continue with [an American military strike in Syria] serving as yet another factor motivating Hezbollah.”
Iran’s government, which most in the U.S. intelligence community think exerts heavy influence over the activities of Hezbollah, sought Monday to downplay the likelihood of a U.S. strike. But some officials in Tehran said that if a strike occurs, Israel would be targeted in response.
“Addressing the crisis in Syria at this stage will be extremely difficult, but every day that Assad remains in power helps Iran and Hezbollah and threatens stability across the region,” Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., Pennsylvania Democrat, said Monday. “Iran and terrorist organizations, like Hezbollah, are plotting against the United States and its allies every day.”
Some Middle East analysts, meanwhile, said a U.S. strike likely would inspire the cadre of military and intelligence officials running Syria to commission their own terrorist activities with the goal of disrupting the existing U.S. military presence in the region and deepening instability surrounding Israel.
Joshua Landis, who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, suggested that the Assad government in Syria already has backed terrorist activities in Lebanon.
“Assad is not powerless,” Mr. Landis said. “We just saw car bombs go off in Tripoli that killed many Sunni Muslims. So he can do things like that to destabilize things and inflame sectarian tensions in Lebanon.”
“The reaction of the Assad regime will depend on how hard the strike is,” said Mr. Landis, who added that the Assad government might respond by hiring Palestinian groups to target U.S. military officials believed to be in Jordan.
Russia remains a key ally to Mr. Assad and one of the main weapon suppliers to Syrian military forces.
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signaled Monday that Moscow has no plans to be drawn into a deeper military conflict over Syria’s civil war.
Reuters quoted Mr. Lavrov as warning Western powers against intervening in the war on grounds that doing so would violate international law.
“The use of force without the approval of the United Nations Security Council is a very grave violation of international law,” Mr. Lavrov said at a news conference. He said the use of chemical weapons in Syria was likely the work of rebels who wanted to derail plans by Washington and Moscow to hold peace talks on Syria’s future.
“If anybody thinks that bombing and destroying the Syrian military infrastructure, and leaving the battlefield for the opponents of the regime to win, would end everything — that is an illusion,” Mr. Lavrov said.
Full article: Attack on Syria likely to trigger terrorists acts against U.S., Israel (Washington Times)