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Golan Heights and South/West Syria
Golan Heights and South/West Syria
Flashpoint / Global

Golan Heights and South/West Syria

I. Why it Matters

Israel’s primary interest in Syria is to prevent a strategic Iranian military presence across Syria, including Iranian construction of military infrastructure and cultivation of local partner forces. Since late 2017 it has targeted Iranian assets in Syria at an increasing pace. These attacks have drawn retaliation, including by Iran, creating the risk that a spiral of escalation will lead to open war between Israel and Iran, which could spill over into Lebanon. In Syria’s south west specifically, Israel has sought to keep Iranian and Iranian-linked forces away from the Golan armistice line, and the risk of Israeli military strikes triggering a broader escalation stands out as the most consequential uncertainty in an attempt by the Assad regime to retake the area from rebel groups.

II. Recent Developments

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