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                                        Volume. 11704

Syria-Hezbollah plan changes regional calculations
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The recent plan to turn the Golan Heights into a resistance front -- devised by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah -- has terrified the Israelis.  
 
The strategic decision was made after the Israelis carried out two airstrikes on Syria, which were cowardly attacks meant to give the appearance that the Syrian government has become vulnerable to threats due to the two-year conflict with the rebels. The attacks were also meant to make amends for Israel’s successive defeats at the hands of the resistance over the past few years.  
 
Assad’s green light to the anti-Israeli groups to launch retaliatory attacks from the borders of the Golan Heights, an area which belongs to Syria but is occupied by Israel, means that Israel will be exposed to a great existential threat. Assad’s initiative was followed by Nasrallah, who promised to support the efforts to liberate Syria’s Golan Heights. Even Israeli military officials have warned that the two statements should be taken seriously. 
 
Political analysts say that in the face of resistance from the borders of Golan, Israel will eventually be compelled to return the area to Damascus. This will only be the beginning, because in the wake of such a scenario, the resistance will advance into the West Bank, which used to belong to Jordan, and the government in Amman could make efforts to reclaim its lost territory. The effects of this process will eventually spread to Gaza. 
 
In fact, Israel’s attack on a military convoy near Damascus was a fatal mistake. Syria and Hezbollah together are capable of crippling Israel, and Nasrallah has said that the two can easily destroy the Zionist regime. In addition, Assad can depend on some loyal Palestinian factions based in Syria to stage attacks on Israel. 
 
The new plan also neutralizes the anti-Syria front’s efforts to break the resistance front in the region. Over the past two years, the reactionary Arab states and their Western supporters have tried to persuade the Palestinian resistance groups to distance themselves from Assad. However, the new plan of Syria and Hezbollah will compel the resistance groups to reassess the situation and again take sides with Syria and its allies.  
 
Saadollah Zarei is a senior columnist and expert on the Middle East based in Tehran.
 
MS/HG

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