What happens next? Is a Middle East War possible? Israel
On November 19, four unguided artillery rockets arced out from Syrian territory into Israeli airspace in northern Galilee in the Golan Heights. These were detected and promptly destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system.
What prompted this ineffectual attack from Iranian forces?
Like the Ouroboros, the snake that is forever preoccupied devouring its own tail, the side-show war between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria seemingly stretches out into an infinite series of violent affronts repaid in kind.
Since 2013, Iran has built up a military presence in Syria not only to combat rebels opposing the Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad, but to build up a military infrastructure that could pressure Israel, including by transferring arms to proxies like Hezbollah. Over that same period of time, Israel has retaliated with hundreds of airstrikes blasting the Iranian bases.
For example, in August, Israel warplanes killed two people in an attack described as pre-empting a scheme to deploy a swarm of drones to attack targets in Israel.
Several commentators have connected the November 19 rocket attack is being a response to Israel’s assassinated Bahaa Abu al-Ata, the commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with a surprise air strike in Gaza on November 12. The same day, Syria reported a reported missile attack on the home of another PIL leader living in Damascus named Akram al-Ajouri, killing his son and one bystander.
Palestinians then responded by launching hundreds of rockets at Isareli targets, and the IDF retaliated against that with more air strikes in a surge of fighting that lasted for two days.
Thus, Israel’s retaliation for the November 19 rocket attack was inevitable. However, its scale and violence took observers by surprise.
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