“This week we told you about the skirmishes between the IDF and the Islamic State terrorist group which occurred on Israel’s border with Syria. Writing at Israel Hayom, Professor Eyal Zisser says that this is a reminder of what many already realized – ISIS is knocking at Israel’s door:
The skirmish this week on the southern edge of the Syrian Golan Heights between the Israel Defense Forces and Islamic State terrorists is a reminder for anyone who forgot or ignored the fact that “Islamic State is already here,” on Israel’s northern border, and has been for over two years.
In December 2014, one of the rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime on the Golan Heights, the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, swore allegiance to Islamic State. It has since joined forces with several other rebel groups, and in May 2016 it named this united force the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army. This force serves as Islamic State’s southern arm in the border triangle between Israel, Jordan and Syria, in the southern Golan Heights. It controls a swathe of land spanning several hundred kilometers, where tens of thousands of people live.
Like Hezbollah, which maintains a presence in the northern sector of the Golan Heights, Islamic State in the southern sector is preoccupied with more pressing matters than opening a front against Israel. Islamic State fighters are busy battling the Syrian regime, but also other rival rebel groups in the area, some of which have ties with Israel. Thus, Islamic State has preferred to keep a low profile along the border and avoid adding Israel to its ever-growing list of enemies.
For Israel, however, it was always clear that an organization such as Islamic State would eventually exacerbate tensions along the border. After all, if the organization ends its other conflicts with the upper hand, it can turn its attention to Israel; but even if it loses, as is the case these days in northern Iraq and eastern Syria, then it looks to act against Israel in an attempt to win points and boost the waning morale among its supporters…”
With the Syrian civil war winding down it will be interesting to see what approach each group takes towards Israel in the near future. Assad will win Aleppo, it is just a matter of time but he is not strong enough to recapture the country side bordering Israel. The Syrian Army, Hezbollah, and Iran will want to consolidate gains and revive their strength before taking on Israel.
The other day an Iranian general stated that Israel will be destroyed within the next 10 years. I think we should take them at their word. In 10 years Iran will have a nuclear weapon (if they don’t already), they along with their proxies will be fully recuperated from the Syrian war, and unless something changes, there will be no sanctions against them.
Iran is actually in a much better position to go to war with Israel then a year ago. They control Lebanon (through Hezbollah), they control Syria (through Assad’s dependency on them), and they either control or exert considerable influence over Iraq.
The only real foe Iran has to worry about besides Israel is Saudi Arabia and they seem reluctant for a direct confrontation. Currently, the US is really not a player in any of the countries that Iran holds under its control. That may change but we will have to wait and see. For now, Iran has to be feeling very confident.
God is in control. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon and war against Israel is on the horizon. Pray for Israel.