Syria’s Forgotten Front

AS the civil war in Syria rages on, the risk that Israel will be drawn into the fray is rising.

Just last Friday, shells fired from Syria again hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and Israel fired back. It’s not the first time tensions in the area have flared.

On Jan. 30, Israel staged an airstrike on a weapons convoy in Syria, reportedly destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon. On March 6, jihadist rebels kidnapped 21 Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights. The risk that Israeli retaliation for cross-border fire could spiral into a major skirmish, or even a larger Israeli intervention to set up a buffer zone in Syria, is real. To prevent it, the United States should broker a tacit agreement between Israel and moderate elements of the Syrian opposition.

Israel and the Syrian opposition don’t have much in common, but they do share some important mutual enemies, namely Hezbollah and Iran, both of which are fighting furiously to save Bashar al-Assad’s government.

David Pollock

The New York Times, United States

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