Conclusion: “I believe the use of chemical weapons on Israel is plausible, possible and ultimately- inevitable.
An attack would bring the fury and full force of the Israeli Defense Forces squarely upon the supplier living in Damascus- Bashar Assad.”
Supporting Evidence: Using chemical weapons against Israeli targets, even on a small scale, “wouldn’t be a game-changer, it would be a game-ender” for Syria,” the (Israeli) official said.
Conclusion: Three scenarios were described of an attack against Israel. Most plausible scenario: Iran’s proxy organization- Hezbollah.
Analysis: This is the most likely scenario because a conflict through proxy organization provides a state an avenue to deny involvement and avoid consequences of defeat. If the goals are successful, the state sponsoring a proxy organization reaps the rewards. A recent example is the Crimea Peninsula: Soldiers arrived with no markings or patches identifying originating nation. Russia originally denied involvement with this group, though after the operation showed success Russia admitted to being the sponsor.
Hezbollah attacking Israel (even involving chemical weapons,) theoretically gives Iran and Syria protection from Israeli retaliation and an avenue to deny ordering the attack. This will not hold weight with the Israeli’s and they will ultimately hold Bashar Assad responsible for arming Hezbollah.
Report: Hezbollah Armed With Syria’s Chemical Weapons
September 22, 2013
(Washington Free Beacon) The terror group Hezbollah has assumed control of at least a portion of Syria’s chemical weapons cache, according to a Syrian military commander, multiple lawmakers, and rebel leaders.
A portion of Syrian President Bashar al Assad regime’s chemical weapons supply has fallen into the hands of Hezbollah, which has been fighting on Assad’s behalf, according to these multiple sources.
Israeli Intel tracking convoys from Syria to Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley
Jan 29th, 2013
Officials said the intelligence community has been tracking convoys of trucks that were bringing what appeared to be missiles and warheads from Syria’s Latakia region to Lebanon. They said the convoys were unloading the suspected weapons at Hizbullah warehouses in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
Defecting Syrian Officer: Chemical Weapons Already Transferred to Hezbollah
December 9th, 2012
The Syrian news website zaman-alwsl.net conducted an interview with a defecting Major in the Chemical Warfare Corp of the Syrian army, who revealed the following: A large part of Syria’s chemical weapons has been removed from storage at Mount Qassioun and transferred by civilian cars chauffeured from Hezbollah soldiers to Hezbollah strongholds in southern Beqaa Valley in eastern Lebanon.
Assad plans to transfer chemical weapons to Hezbollah: Syrian defected general
September 19th, 2012
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would transfer the chemical weapons to the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, a Syrian defected general told the Times of London. Former Syrian general turned defector, Major-General Adnan Sillu,
Hassan Nasrallah: Leader of Hezbollah, close friend of Qassem Suliemani and Bashar Assad
Hezbollah: created in 1985 as a guardian of Shia Muslims in Lebanon. Currently assisting Bashar Assad and Qassem Suliemani against ISIS, Free Syria rebels and Nusra Front. Holds territory in Southern Lebanon, Southern Beirut and Northwest Lebanon including the Bekka Valley. Suspected recipient of Syria’s undeclared chemical weapons.
Syrian Fighting Gives Hezbollah New but Diffuse Purpose
May 20, 2014
Hezbollah was founded in 1985 to fight the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and has since evolved into a powerful organization with a political party, a network of social services and a military force stronger than the Lebanese army. But its intervention in Syria has signaled a series of firsts for the group, whose leaders insist that their primary mission remains “resistance” to Israel and the countries that support it, like the United States.
Hezbollah shows off border gains with slideshow and tour
May 21, 2015
Lebanon-Syria border (CNN) the Lebanese militant and political organization, says it is nearly halfway through its stated goal of clearing al Qaeda-linked militants from the mountainous border between Syria and Lebanon.
Conclusion: “An Israeli attack on Damascus would repeat recent history bringing together Iran, and Syria’s ally- Russia.”
Russia’s ties to Syria’s crisis
February 7, 2012
“The Russians won’t put it this way, but clearly they’re giving these arms on loan. Every weapon they send is a greater cost to Russia because it’s more money they’re sinking into this regime. They have a lot at stake here if they want to keep the regime alive if for no other reason than they want to get their money back,” Christian Leuprecht a Queen’s University political science and economics professor, told Global News.
Russia’s only naval base in the Mediterranean is in Tartus and a new regime may not accommodate this arrangement that was made under an outdated 1971 agreement. Syria represents 10 per cent of Russia’s total international arms sales in $1.5 billion worth of contracts, Leuprecht noted. In 2011 alone, Syria spent an extra $20 billion in security costs – an expense the underdeveloped country likely can’t afford.
Russia is already deeply invested in Syria and so its priorities include ensuring that Syria’s future aligns with a favourable outcome for Russia. Backing down from assisting Syria as the rest of the international world isolates them, at this point, could also come off as a weakness, Leuprecht suggested.”
“Russians are seeing that the world, in the last 20 years, has not been going their way so part of this is hanging on to what they’ve got because they strategically can’t afford to have anything else slip out of their hands,”
Any conflict on Iran is a direct threat to Russia’s security – Rogozin
January 13, 2012
Dmitry Rogozin served as Russia’s special envoy to NATO in 2008-2011. Appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
“Iran is our close neighbor, just south of the Caucasus. Should anything happen to Iran, should Iran get drawn into any political or military hardships, this will be a direct threat to our national security.”
“Syria must be left alone and the sides to the conflict must be assisted in breaking the stand-off and starting negotiations. No one must interfere with Syria. This is dangerous.”
Iran Quds chief visited Russia despite U.N. travel ban: Iran official
Fri Aug 7, 2015
The head of Iran’s elite military Quds Force, who is subject to a United Nations travel ban, has met senior Russian officials in Moscow, an Iranian official said on Friday. But the Iranian official, who declined to be identified, said Soleimani had made the trip in the second half of July, where he had held talks covering regional and bilateral issues and the delivery to Iran of S-300 surface-to-air missiles and other weapons. Both Russia and Iran back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels in the country’s civil war. Indications of a new diplomatic push to end the war have emerged following last month’s signing of an accord on Iran’s nuclear program between Tehran and world powers.
Russia Deploying Air Force Contingent to Syria
September 1, 2015
Citing western diplomatic sources, Ynet reported Tuesday that an advance Russian party has already arrived in Syria and will be followed in the coming weeks by thousands of military personnel, including members of an “aerial protection division.” This presumably is a force to protect the air contingent, which is to include fighter jets and attack helicopters, from ground attack. The Russians will reportedly be making use of an existing Syrian air force base in the Damascus area.
Russia, Egypt support forming anti-IS coalition with Syria’s Assad
27 August, 2015
Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi met with his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, during a joint press conference the presidents announced a Russian initiative to form a coalition to fight the Islamic state group [IS], which includes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as one of its partners.
The heads-of-state also discussed the construction of the Dabaa nuclear power plant in northern Egypt and possible cooperation between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union.
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