Iran breaks the Rules of Engagement: Israel takes its Revenge, and Syria and Iran impose the Golan Equation



Published here:

Damascus by Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Israel hits Syrian and Iranian objectives and weapons warehouses again (evacuated weeks before) for the fourth time in a month. 28 Israeli jets participated in the biggest attack since 1974. Tel Aviv informed the Russian leadership of its intentions without succeeding in stopping the Syrian leadership from responding. Actually, what is new is the location where Damascus decided to hit back: the occupied Golan Heights (55 rockets and missiles were fired at Israeli military positions).

Syria, in coordination with its Iranian allies (without taking into consideration Russian wishes) took a very audacious decision to fire back against Israeli targets in the occupied Golan. This indicates that Damascus and its allies are ready to widen the battle, in response to continual Israeli provocations.

But what is the reason why new Rules of Engagement (ROE) were imposed in Syria recently?

For decades there was a non-declared ROE between Hezbollah and Israel, where both sides were aware of the consequences. Usually, Israel prepares a bank of target objectives with Hezbollah offices, military objectives and warehouses and also specific commanders with key positions within the organisation. Israel hits these targets (updated) in every war. However, the Israelis react immediately against Hezbollah commanders , who have the task of supporting, instructing and financing Palestinians in Palestine, and above all the Palestinians of 1948 living in Israel. This has happened on many occasions where Hezbollah commanders related to the Palestinian dossier were assassinated in Lebanon.

Last month, Israel discovered that Iran was sending advanced low observable drones dropping electronic and special warfare equipment to Palestinians. The Israeli radars didn’t see these drones going backward and forward with their traditional radars, but were finally able to identify one drone using thermal detection and acoustic deterrence, to down it on its last journey.

In response to this, Israel targeted the Syrian military airport T-4 used by Iran as a base for these drones. But Israel was not satisfied and wanted more revenge, hitting several Iranian and Syrian targets during the following weeks.

Tel Aviv believes it can get away with repetitively hitting Iranian objectives without triggering a military response. Perhaps Israel really believed that Iran was afraid of becoming engaged in a war with Israel, with the US ready to take part in any war against the Islamic Republic from its military bases spread around Syria, in close vicinity to the Iranian forces deployed in Syria. Obviously, Iran has a different view from the Israelis, the Americans and even the Russians, who like to avoid any contact at all cost.

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Regardless of how many Israeli jets took part in the latest attack against Iranian and Syrian objectives and how many missiles were launched or intercepted, a serious development has occurred: the Syrian high command broke all rules and found no obstacle to bombing Israel in the occupied Golan Heights.

Again, the type of missiles or rockets fired by Syria against Israeli military objectives it is not important and if these fell into an open space or hit their targets. What is important is the fact that a new ROE is now in place in Syria, similar to the one established by Hezbollah over Kiryat Shmona near the Lebanese border, when militants fired anti-aircraft cannons every time Israel violated Lebanese airspace in the 2000.

Basically Israel wanted to hit objectives in Syria but claims not to be looking for confrontation. Israel would have liked to continue provoking Syria and Iran in the Levant, but claims to be unwilling to head towards war or a battle. Israel would like to continue hitting any target it chooses in Syria without suffering retaliation. With its latest attack, Israel’s “unintended consequences” or provocation has forced the Syrian government to consider the occupied Golan Heights as the next battlefield. If Israel continues and hits beyond the border area, Syria will think of sending its missiles or rockets way beyond the Golan Heights- to reach Israeli territory.


Actually, Hezbollah’s secretary general Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said a few years back: “Leave Lebanon outside the conflict. Come to Syria where we can settle our differences”. Syria, logically, has become the battlefield for all countries and parties to settle their differences, the platform where the silent war between Israel and Iran and its allies is finding its voice.

In Damascus, sources close to the leadership believe Israel will continue to attacking targets. However, Israel knows now where Syria’s response will be. This is what Israel has triggered but didn’t expect. Now it has become a rule.

The Israeli Iron Dome is inefficient and unable to protect Israel from rockets and missiles launched simultaneously. Now the battle has moved into Syrian territory occupied by Israel to the dislike of Tel Aviv, and Russia. Iran and Syria are not taking into consideration Russia’s concern to keep the level of tension low if Israel is not controlling itself. Syria recognises the importance of Russia and its efficient role in stopping the war in Syria and all the military and political support Moscow is offering. However, Damascus and Tehran have other considerations and for the purpose of containing Israel. They have trained over 16 local Syrian groups ready to liberate the Golan Heights or to clash with any possible Israeli advance into Syrian territory.



Israel triggered what it has always feared and has managed to get a new battlefield, the Golan heights. It is true that Israel limited itself to bombing weapons warehouses never hit before. It has bombed bases where Iranian advisors are based along with Syrian officers (Russia cleared most positions to avoid the embarrassment of being hit by Israel). It is also true that Israel didn’t regularly bomb Iranian military and transport aircraft carrying weapons to Syria, or the main Iranian centre of control and command at Damascus airport. This means that not all parties are pushing for a wider escalation, so far.

Can the situation get out of control? Of course it can, the question is when!.

Proof reading: Maurice Brasher

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68 thoughts on “Iran breaks the Rules of Engagement: Israel takes its Revenge, and Syria and Iran impose the Golan Equation

  1. ‘…advanced low observable drones dropping electronic and special warfare equipment to Palestinians’ – Bibi to Putin “Those Iranians are sending advanced drones to Palestinians to bomb us in our beds” – Putin to Bibi ” Oh really – are they like the swarms that tried to take out our Hmeim airbase in Syria – well thanks for that idea, it’s a good one!”

  2. i think it would be in the interest of Syria to focus in recapturing the rest of the syrian soil before getting in a confrontation with Israel. The country is in pieces after 7 seven years of war, it needs peace now. Russian position is the smartest for me.

  3. I wish I could be as optimistic as Elijah. I agree that the number of missiles or aircrafts or casualties for that matter, is not important. There is however, a significant and unfortunately very dangerous factor which I don’t see being addressed by Elijah: Who fired the last volley of bombs/missiles?

    In 2006, up until the very last moment that Israel, in abject humiliation, agreed to a ceasefire, missiles were raining down on Israel. This time this did not happen and the last word, unfortunately, remained with Israel. And this is an extremely dangerous development in case of dealing with dangerous psychopaths such as Israelies, or even worse Trump/Bolton.

    When dealing with dangerous psychopaths, the last thing you want to do is to give the psycho the impression that he can have the last word. In 2006 Israelies HAD to admit that none of their military objectives had been achieved, today they claim the exact opposite. And this means more and more brazen attacks by them.

    IMHO, both Russia and Iran, must prepare themselves for the day that Trump/Bolton (and in case of Iran also Israelies) will say: We are going to enter a direct conflict and total war with Russia *over Syria*, you are going to engage us directly in a war, or leave Syria in humiliation so that we can do as we want, it is your choice!
    And IMO both Russia and Iran must be ready to enter a direct conflict with USA (if necessary even a nuclear one) over Syria. Because: compromise is not an option, on the contrary it is a clear invitation for more brazen attacks and further escalation of violence against Syria/Iran/Russia.

  4. EJ, it cannot be anything other than ignorance of Talmudist-Kabbalist-Vatican (and probably also Orthodox) plans to fulfill the Biblical/Koranic End Times.

    Israel, NATO, GCC and other partners want to lure Syria and other nations into war, their survival depend on it by existential necessity. So you should (judging from your exclamation mark !) not be exited that “the situation can get out of control”.

    WWIII is not a Syrian issue.

    As for the Kremlin, they’re not much of an ally and never was under Soviet times either, they only sold weapons and usually not support their customers politically. Juxtapose that to NATO, its Article 5 and how members together act like a shield that defends the violations of certain members that define the concept of an “ally”.

    Anything else but Article 5 is the definition of its polar opposite; the lack of “allies” (or rather its property: one body, one suffer, one solution).

  5. Very interesting.
    “Last month, Israel discovered that Iran was sending advanced low observable drones dropping electronic and special warfare equipment to Palestinians. The Israeli radars didn’t see these drones going backward and forward with their traditional radars, but were finally able to identify one drone using thermal detection and acoustic deterrence, to down it on its last journey.”

    That just filled a major part of the puzzle, since no one seriously believed the official crap of the stealth drone send into Israel for no reason. A stealth drone used for smuggling? Ingenious really.
    No wonder the Israelis were so angry, that´s usually “their” style to re purpose US tech so drastically:)

    Still , this is a cautionary tale of self fulfilling prophecy. By striking Syria repeatedly to enforce deterrence against the IRCG, Israel created just the kind of thing they desperately wanted to avoid :

    Missile armed forces at their “whole” northern border, with no qualms to strike them, and scattered UN forces to watch all of it. No more strikes with assumed impunity for Bibi , eh ?

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