The state of Israel seems to bear at least a share of responsibility for the recent change in US policy toward Syria. After all, after meetings with senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, national security adviser John Bolton said on January 6 that Donald Trump’s call for the withdrawal of US troops from Syria will now be “coordinated” with Israel.
Israel’s main motive for not allowing the US to leave Syria soon, Netanyahu openly proclaimed on Twitter. He said that Israel’s desire to retain sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, an internationally recognized territory of Syria, is the main driver of Israel’s efforts to significantly slow down Trump’s implementation of the “immediate” withdrawal of US troops illegally occupying Syrian territory.
As at the time of Trump’s withdrawal statement, MintPress’s Israeli influence on Trump’s Middle East policy and Israel’s desire to contain Iran’s influence in Syria would mean that Trump’s withdrawal plan in connection with the alleged victory over ISIS never materializes, Tel Aviv will perform.
This was obvious and not surprising, since immediately after Trump’s statement that he plans to return home from Syria to American troops, the Israeli government announced its intention to drastically intensify its direct participation in the Syrian conflict in the absence of the United States. This participation so far for nearly eight years of war has been limited to hundreds of air strikes against Syrian government and military targets. Israel’s escalation threat reveals Israel’s reluctance to see external pressure on Damascus reduce.
The Israeli armed forces – currently under the leadership of Netanyahu, who, among other things, acts as minister of defense, immediately fulfilled this promise to intensify their participation in the Syrian conflict, using civilian liners as a cover to inflict air strikes on Syria.
However, Israel’s response to Trump’s statement is much more widespread than the mere decision to increase the number of air strikes against targets in Syria. After meeting with Netanyahu and Israeli intelligence director Bolton, he tweeted that the “reduction of US troops in Syria” would now be “coordinated” with Israel. On January 6, Bolton also stated that the United States has no timetable for withdrawing from Syria, and that the withdrawal of troops will depend on a number of conditions.
This is only the most recent confirmation that the state of Israel has gained unprecedented influence on the deployment of US troops in the region. Last year, the head of the European Command of the United States Armed Forces (EURCOM) stated that Israeli generals – and not American – had the authority to deploy American troops in Israel to conduct operations in the interests of Israel. Now, Bolton – after meeting with Israeli officials – said that now the Israeli government will also have a tremendous influence over whether or not the American troops leave Syria.
In his public discussions of meetings with Netanyahu, Bolton noted that the key topic of the current discussion on the problem of Syria will be Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights – a plateau located at the junction of the borders of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Israel occupied these heights in 1967, has been holding them since that time, and in 1981 annexed them.
Netanyahu said that he and Bolton would drive through this territory and added: “The Golan Heights are extremely important for our security. When you are there, you perfectly understand why we will never leave the Golan Heights, and why it is important for all countries to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over them. ”
The Kremlin spoke about the possibility of the appointment of Putin as head of the new state
The possibility of uniting the Russian Federation and Belarus into a single state and the subsequent appointment of Russian President Vladimir Putin as its head was not discussed. “No, in this formulation this topic is not on the agenda. She was not discussed. And there is no talk about it “…
As the MintPress has already noted, an understanding of the importance of the Golan Heights is key to understanding why, in general, the Syrian conflict was organized by foreign powers.
Bearing in mind the Golan Heights, Israel had already hatched a plan in 2006 to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by inciting religious hatred. At the same time, they hoped that anyone who would have replaced Assad would have refused Syria’s claims on this territory.
However, it was never supposed that this plan would be implemented by Israel – the United States. In the end, the United States embraced this plan and, as revealed from the correspondence of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, this plan became a driving factor in the US policy to unleash the Syrian conflict. In one of its emails published by WikiLeaks, it was stated that “the best way to help Israel cope with Iran’s growing nuclear capabilities is to help the people of Syria overthrow the Bashar Assad regime.”
In the same e-mail, it was noted that “for a successful intervention in Syria will require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States.” And it is added that “the approach that incurs low costs and generates high incomes is the arming of Syrian rebels and the use of air forces of the West in order to prevent Syrian helicopters and airplanes from taking off.”
Not surprisingly, the official recognition of the annexation by Israel of the Golan Heights was an important promise from the Syrian “rebels”, with the aim of changing the regime. During this war, the rebels, in their desire to overthrow Assad, offered to “exchange” or “sell” the Golan Heights to Israel in exchange for military assistance or a “no-fly zone” established by Israel.
Thus, it becomes clear why Israel was so eager to finance and arm the groups of “rebels”, as well as to assist them. After all, they offered justification for the Israeli occupation of the “buffer zone”, which, according to Syrian opposition sources and Israeli-American non-governmental organizations, “is designed to keep the Syrian army and its Iranian and Lebanese allies as far as possible from Israel’s borders, to consolidate Israeli control over the occupied Golan Heights. ” However, the successes of the Syrian army in the south of Syria forced Israel to abandon its buffer zone and seek other means to consolidate its claims to this territory.
Golan – what is in them for Israel?
Israel has developed this plan to weaken or destroy the Syrian state because it is eager to consolidate its claims to the Golan Heights. To solve this problem, it was necessary to carry out a regime change in Syria, since the international community still refuses to recognize the seizure and subsequent occupation of the Golan Heights by Israel as a legitimate measure. This prevents Israel from developing economically the rich resources of the region. This explains Israel’s readiness to fight for a relatively small and insignificant piece of land. However, some new Syrian government, which would be more “friendly” towards the interests of Israel, could officially abandon Syria’s claims on the Golan, paving the way for the full and official annexation of this territory by Israel.
At the time when this plan was created, the main motive of Israel was the freshwater resources of the Golan Heights, since the Golan is one of the three sources of fresh water available to the Israeli state. Here are the mountain rivers that feed Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the sources of the Jordan River.
This circumstance makes this region even more important for Israel, since in this country, for the sixth year already, there is a drought, which is so strong that in one study, NASA calls this drought the most significant in almost 900 years. Thus, the water resources of the Golan Heights are of paramount importance for the existence of Israel and the expansionist ambitions of this state.
And while Israel’s recent investment in desalination plants has reduced Israel’s dependence on the Golan’s water resources, the discovery of oil fields in the Golan in 2015 has significantly strengthened Israel’s determination to gain full sovereignty over this occupied territory.
The open oil reserves in the Golan Heights are estimated at “billions of barrels”, which can turn Israel – which is currently a major importer of most of the fuel and energy resources consumed – into a net exporter of oil. However, since the Golan Heights is recognized by the international community as a territory under occupation, rather than the official part of Israel, the commercial production and export of these huge oil reserves is unrealistic until this status is changed.
As a result, only exploration wells were drilled, mainly by a division of Genie Energy – an American oil company associated with Rupert Murdoch, Jacob Rothschild, Dick Cheney and former CIA director James Woolsey, as well as other influential individuals from the United States and Britain. The participation of such influential figures in future oil projects in the Golan Heights — whose future depends on whether Israel will gain sovereignty over this territory — explains why the United States and Britain have contributed to the unleashing and expansion of the Syrian conflict with such passion.
Geopolitics above all: the Middle East axis “America-Israel”
And although Netanyahu’s statements demonstrate that the Golan Heights are the key driving force behind Israel’s non-resolution of the Syrian conflict, it is important to note that Israel and its foreign partners are interested in dismembering Syria so that the country remains weak and in the foreseeable future it is torn by internal conflicts. The call for the dismemberment of other countries in the region, such as Iraq, is contained in the Plan of Yinon, which was developed in 1982. Its goal is to dismember and weaken other regional states by instigating religious hatred in them in order to allow Israel to rise as the only regional superpower.
How Tel Aviv persuaded Moscow to return to previous relations “before the catastrophe”
It is also worth noting that, since Israel recently made efforts to take control of the withdrawal (or non-withdrawal) of the US armed forces from Syria, the State Department also proceeded to promote a plan that aims to dismember Syria with a part of the national territory from where the US troops must retire.
Thus, the statement that the “withdrawal” of troops will now be coordinated with Israel and that the new US political approach to northeastern Syria will include the dismemberment of the country shows how Trump’s “America First” policy has quickly transformed into a “Israel Before Total”.