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‘Hezbollah still far from realizing its goal of attacking Israel from Syria’


The Assad regime’s military has seized Palmyra in recent days, and the Iranian-backed Shi’ite axis in Syria, of which Hezbollah is a core member, appears to be gaining in strength.

Ultimately, Hezbollah’s goal is to turn Syria into an extended springboard for attacks against Israel, but it is still far off from being able to realize this vision, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, a former national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, toldThe Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Asked to comment on recent developments in Syria, and the gains made by the Allawite regime in Damascus, Amidror, a senior research fellow at the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said it appeared as if Russia’s assistance to Assad altered the balance of power in Syria to a greater extent than was visible a few months ago.
The Assad regime’s military has “succeeded in seizing territory from its enemies on a number of fronts,” he said.

“It is too soon to know if the rebels and ISIS have been defeated, or if they will stop fighting and cease forming a challenge to Assad and his supporters from Hezbollah,” Amidror cautioned.

“So long as the fighting continues, and Hezbollah is busy with saving its strategic home front in Syria, the situation will not change significantly. If the success of Assad and his allies continues to grow in strength, and the various rebels and ISIS itself lose their ability to threaten the regime, then Hezbollah will turn to realizing its dream; turning Syria into another springboard against Israel. This is a possible danger, but not an immediate one, and it is one Israel should prepare for,” he stated.

Yoram Schweitzer, who heads the Program on Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, also said he believed it was far too soon to know where the overall course of events in Syria is headed.

Schweitzer, who was the former head of the counter-international terror section in the IDF, said that while ISIS is growing visibly weaker in Syria, many commentators had noted that it was getting weaker in 2015, right before it seized Palmyra in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq.

“I suggested then that we should not rush to declare an Assad victory. There is no doubt that ISIS has carried out more retreats recently. But I do not see this as a victory for the Assad regime, which is far from taking most of Syria,” he said.

Schweitzer added that he does not believe Hezbollah, or Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, will act aggressively against Israel from Syria any


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