By Valeriy Kulikov

As forces of the so-called Islamic State terrorist group are being pushed all across Syria and Iraq, one can clearly Israel’s shifting position on the situation in Syria, which can be explained by Tel-Aviv desire in the creation of a new order in the Middle East.

It’s clear that Israel has finally realized that it’s been betting on the wrong horse in Syria and is now risking to lose it all. It goes without saying that once you get beaten you will be in no position to demand anything from anybody. It will not receive a security zone within the Golan Heights, and the dreams about controlling the Iraqi-Syrian border will not come to fruition too. In fact, the panic mode that the Netanyahu administration has been for a while now reflects the dramatic changes that are taking place in Syria and across the region. After Israel betting on the losing party for so long, Tel-Aviv has no other choice but exercise damage control in a desperate bid to save its Jordanian and Kurdish henchmen. Its new strategy states that it must draw Iraq and Syria away from Iran and integrating them into the Israeli-American-Saudi alliance.

Over the last six years of the conflict in Syria, Israel would try to avoid any direct military activities in this country. Only recently Israeli aircraft and artillery have started launching striking inside the Syrian territory. Among their targets one could find both the positions of the Lebanese Hezbollah, which is fighting on the side of Bashar Assad, but military facilities of the regular Syrian army as well. In particular, the recent bombardment of Israeli artillery that targeted Syrian army in the Golan Heights, according to Israeli media reports, destroyed three artillery positions.

Israel has always been deeply involved in the Syrian conflict. Repeated statements by Israeli officials that “Tel-Aviv pursues a policy of non-interference in the Syrian civil war” have been circulating in Western media sources for years. However, in recent series of explanation given by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to European officials he would acknowledge that Tel-Aviv destroyed a dozens of Iranian convoys fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic against ISIS hordes. On June 18, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israel and Saudi Arabia were allies from the very beginning of the Syrian conflict, as Israel supplied the Syrian rebels operating alongside its borders with money, food, fuel and drugs. The Wall Street Journal has also added that Israel might be sponsoring a total of four rebel groups operating inside Syria. These groups would use the cash provided to them to pay mercenaries and buy ammunition. These revelations, according to Zero Hedge, can also explain why ISIS terrorists would never attacking Israeli citizens or launch operations deep inside Israel’s territory.

According to Telegram’s Directorate 4 channel, jihadists have recently released a video of one of their gangs using AA ammunitions delivered from Israel while being engaged in a deadly firefight against the Syrian government troops in the vicinity of Daraa. It is noted that this was not the first time when media sources received confirmation that Israel has been supplying weapons to radical Islmasists. In addition, it’s been repeatedly report that Israel has been providing medical services to those militants that were wounded in Syria.

In mid-October it was reported that the government troops discovered four warehouses stuffed to the brink with US-made and Israeli-made weapons in the liberated Syrian city of Mayadin.

Tel Aviv’s sympathy for ISIS was confirmed last May by the editor of the Politico, Bryan Bender, who visited Israel just before Trump’s visit to that country to discover Israeli military forces do not want Donald Trump to fulfill his promise on crushing the Islamic State terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria .

Regarding the policy of Israel, a number of regional politicians and experts have noted an abrupt increase of its attempts to provoke the so-called redrawing of the Middle East, which will inevitably result in the weakening of some countries of the region. This was stated, in particular, at the press conference given by the Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli given in early October. Fazli would emphasize Israel’s support for the referendum of independence in the Iraqi Kurdistan, provided with the sole goal of weakening Tel-Aviv’s opponents in the Middle East.

The consistent political support of Iraqi Kurdistan that has been provided by Israel has recently been empathized by the commander the elite paramilitary Peshmerga unit known as Black Tiger, General Sirwan Barzani, the nephew of the long-time leader of the Iraqi Kurds – Masoud Barzani. Israelis of any origin are freely visiting Iraqi Kurdistan with their national passports, although such a paper would make any persona an unwelcome visitor across the Arab world. Israeli companies are beginning to unofficially operate in Erbil, while the Kurds are seeking the support of the Israeli lobby in the US in hopes that it would support Kurdistan’s independence. Last year, the Kurdish authorities announced the opening of a “representative office for relations with Jews”, which can be viewed as a diplomatic mission.

Of course, there’s intelligence cooperation to be found between Israel and Iraqi Kurdistan. Simply, the “common enemy” has now changed – instead of targeting the hated Sunni regime of Saddam Hussein, those services are now targeting the government of Shia Arab majority along with Iran that supports it. There is no doubt that through Kurdistan Israeli special services have been enjoying free access to the territories of Iran and Iraq, which in the event of a major war will be a crucial factor.

However, the Kurds are still cooperating with Israel openly because they are afraid of the wrath of Iran and the Arab world that they may trigger by going into the open about their friends.

Israel’s goals that dictate its support of Iraqi Kurds are truly multifaceted. One of them, according to the former Israeli intelligence officer Alexander Grinberg, is to resist Iran’s influence while having a leverage against Turkey. Especially given the fact that commercial relations between Turkey and Israel began to develop rapidly and both Ankara and Tel-Aviv share a number of positions on the Iranian issue, in spite of the fact that Erdogan is an impulsive leader with anti-Semitic and dictatorial habits, while according to the opinion prevailing in Israel today, it’s Turkey that is the main supporter of the Hamas and not Qatar.

In a bid to preserve its role of a major Middle Eastern in the eyes of American elites, Israel has offered Washington a plan that may allow it to push Iran both from Syria and the regional scene. The plan was drafted under the supervision of Israel’s Minister of Transport and Intelligence, Yisrael Katz and approved by the country’s top political leadership. According to the Katz Plan Washington must recognize the Golan Heights that were occupied by Israel in the course of the Six-Day War of 1967 as Israel’s sovereign territory. Such a recognition will grant Israel a number of advantages, especially in the matter of striking the positions of Hezbollah within the Syrian territory, that can be found in the immediate vicinity of the disputed heights. In the Katz plan, special emphasis is also being placed on preventing the permanent military basing of Iranians in Syria. In this regard, the US is recommended to tighten sanctions against Tehran on the pretext that Iran must be supporting terrorism.

Tel-Aviv is also aware of the growing role that Russia starts to play in the Middle East, so it wants to get Moscow on board in its plan of pushing pro-Iranian forces out from Syria. In order to achieve this goal Tel Aviv has been unprecedentedly active in approaching Moscow along with its “allied” Arab leaders: Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan . In exchange for reviewing its relations with Iran, Russia, which has already established two permanent military bases in the Syrian territory, is promised to receive a whole set of “preferences”, including the tacit acceptance of Russian jurisdiction over the Crimea by the West, the lifting of Western sanctions, the restoration of Russia’s membership in the G8, guarantees on the preservation of Moscow’s air and naval bases in the Syrian provinces of Latakia and Tartus. There was another “benefit” for Russia in the form of keeping President Bashar Assad in power in Damascus for an indefinitely long time, as well as supplying Riyadh with Russian arms and the list goes on and on.

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