The return of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister has raised the question of whether he will revisit Israel’s neutrality over the war in Ukraine. But he is unlikely to, for a simple reason: Israel fears that aligning against Russia in Ukraine would curtail its freedom to operate against Iranian forces and proxies in Syria.
Many Americans were reminded last week that the United States remains actively engaged in military combat. But this conflict is not in Afghanistan, where the U.S. withdrew its forces last August. Nor is it in Ukraine, where President Joe Biden has gone out of his way to avoid direct military involvement. It’s in Syria.
Back in June 2011, when news began to filter out from Syria of the first signs of armed resistance against the Baathist regime of President Bashar al-Assad, few could have predicted the level of disruption to the global order that the conflict in Syria would go on to produce. After months of brutal violence against protesters inflicted by the Assad regime, local inhabitants around the town of Jisr al-Shughour in the northern province of Idlib seized a police station on June 4, triggering a major shift whose implications few observers fully understood. Two days later, armed resistance led by police [...]