Israel is preparing for the fall of Syria, according to reports published on Sunday. The Jewish nation has deployed two Iron Dome air defense batteries to its north, including one near the city of Haifa. Activity at Israel’s air force bases has also increased, according to local reports.
“If there will be a need, we will take action to prevent chemical weapons from being transferred to Islamic terror organizations,” Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said on Israel’s Army Radio on Sunday.
Since the Syrian uprisings began in March of 2011, dissident forces have clashed with government troops at hotspots throughout the nation. Even the capital city of Damascus, visible from Israel, is engulfed in bloody fighting. As the violence continues southward, it has led to some artillery fire hitting Israeli territory. Israel fears that Syrians may soon resort to using chemical weapons near Israel’s border.
Under any conditions, a chemical weapons stockpile on your doorstep would be legitimate cause for concern for any nation. But with Syria in chaos, now Israel has to worry about the prospect of the weapons falling into rebel hands. The United States government supports the rebels who fight under the banner of democracy. However, the majority of the rebels don’t have such democratic tendencies. Some of the militia groups are extreme Islamists, dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The possibility of these organizations gaining control of chemical weapons that could reach Israel is sobering for the Jewish nation.
Additionally, there is the threat of Hezbollah in Lebanon gaining access to Syria’s chemical weapons. Such a scenario significantly multiplies the threat to Israel’s northern cities.
Israel can’t afford to lose track of Syria’s weapons stockpiles, which is why it is conducting intense surveillance to its north. If the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad falls, the weapons could be very difficult to track down. The Israelis are preparing now to defend themselves in case the worst should happen.
Israel is in a very precarious situation. The weapons pose a threat to Israel regardless of who controls Syria. But with the fighting in Syria and the Assad regime increasingly desperate, the threat is multiplying. The U.S. has already discussed the possibility of a military operation to prevent the weapons from falling into radical Islamists’ hands, and Israel may well take part if such an offensive is waged.
Israel stepped up its countermeasures on Tuesday night when an Israeli airstrike destroyed a convoy crossing the border from Syria into Lebanon. While reports are vague about what the convey contained, the strike shows that Israel is watching the border, and is willing to engage its military to prevent weapons being dispersed to Israel’s neighbors.
Assad’s grip on power appears to be rapidly slipping. Regardless of what happens next, you can know the role Syria will play in the future. Despite the uncertainties of the Arab winter, the struggles of Israel, the role of the U.S., and the ongoing bloodbath in Syria, you can understand what the future holds for this region of the world. A prophecy recorded in Psalm 83 makes Syria’s future role clear. To understand this biblical truth, read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “How the Syrian Crisis Will End.” ▪