Analysis

Syria: Israeli Strike Raises Concerns of Wider Conflict
An Israeli F-15 Eagle fighter jet takes off from an Israeli Air Force Base on November 19, 2012. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
January 31, 2013
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
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Israel's strike on convoys that were reportedly carrying SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles from Syria to Lebanon underscores its long-standing commitment to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to terrorist groups like Hezbollah. But while it was likely undertaken with the hope that the strike would discourage further provocative actions by the Assad regime, the fact that Syria was attempting the transfer raises troubling concerns about the stability of the regime and the potential that Syria may in fact want to instigate a broader regional conflict.
Syria’s move to transfer the SA-17s may have been motivated by fears of losing control over its weapons facilities, and it may attempt to transfer chemical weapons at some point. Damascus might also be seeking to bolster Hezbollah’s defenses in preparation for renewed military conflict with Israel. Syria and Iran threatened to retaliate for Israel’s attack. Russia and Hezbollah also condemned the attack.
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