Israel’s escalating attacks on Syrian territory are not an extension of its consistent attacks, rather, they are part of the Israelis’ preparations for a new war on Lebanon, which could either be launched during its war on Gaza or immediately afterward.
The name of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps official whom Israel recently assassinated in Syria, Riza Mousavi, is the obvious headline of the story. The Iranians say he was tasked with managing IRGC supply lines.

Israel’s targeting of Mousavi, who has played prominent roles in Syria, is essentially aimed at disrupting Iranian supply lines sending equipment from Tehran to Lebanon, and thus to Hezbollah, and before it, other militias in Damascus and its surroundings.
Despite the ongoing skirmishes on the southern Lebanese border between Hezbollah and the Israelis, it is clear that Israel is now seeking to weaken Iranian supply lines in anticipation of the war it could wage on Lebanon.

The pretexts are already available to the Israelis, who demand that Hezbollah militia men stay away from the Israeli border, as stipulated by UN Resolution 1701, and claim that they will ensure this happens either through negotiations or war.

The truth is that Israel’s motives are clear and easy to understand. The longer wars last, whether they are in Gaza or if one breaks out on the Lebanese borders, the better Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s chances of remaining in power.
Indeed, Netanyahu was dead politically, and he was awaiting imprisonment, the final nail in the coffin. However, the repercussions of the October 7th operation carried out by Hamas and the factions allied to it have extended his political life. He is now trying to emerge from this crisis as a national hero, after having been a corrupt politician.

Thus, military developments are now escalating in Syria, and Damascus Airport going in and out of service has become a joke since the Gaza war. However, it indicates preparations for the anticipated war on Lebanon.

Those who reflect on these developments will find that Iran is stepping up its efforts to transfer weaponry. It is sending arms through Damascus Airport, which indicates an urgent and ongoing need for supplying its proxies, as using other routes could take longer.

Meanwhile, we see the Israelis continue to target Damascus Airport to disrupt the supply of arms, and they will continue to escalate their targeting of influential Iranian leaders, constantly seeking bigger and more important targets, as seen in the attack on Mousavi in Damascus, as well as targeting Hezbollah’s arms depots.

All of that tells us Israel’s escalation cannot be separated from the war in Gaza. It is preparing to target Hezbollah, as well as other Iranian militias, to weaken them before the war in Lebanon breaks out.

Thus, we see tense and contradictory statements coming out of Iran as Israel escalates. Mean Hezbollah, especially Hassan Nasrallah, remains silent. He has not said a word because he knows what is coming and that if a war erupts, it will be different from those that preceded it.

The reason is very simple: if this war is waged, it would be a war of survival for both Netanyahu and Hassan Nasrallah. Netanyahu wants to escape his inevitable fate of imprisonment, and Nasrallah is trying to preserve what remains of Iran’s prestige and its influence in Syria.

Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper