Thursday, November 19, 2020

Pompeo says Iran isolated but Israel’s Syria airstrikes show otherwise

 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks next to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, during a news conference to announce the Trump administration's restoration of sanctions on Iran, at the U.S. State Department in Washington, U.S., S (photo credit: PATRICK SEMANSKY/POOL VIA REUTERS)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran is more isolated in the wake of the Abraham Accords between Israel and two Gulf states. This, along with messages about new sanctions, was part of the narrative put forth on Wednesday during Pompeo’s visit.

The peace deals have certainly shifted the region and provide an important new step in Israel-Arab relations – as well as cementing an emerging strategic system of nations that includes Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, India, Greece and Cyprus.  

The other side of the coin regarding Iran’s isolation is the fact that years of Israel’s “campaign between the wars,” the effort to erode or set back Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, may continue indefinitely. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again said on Wednesday that Israel would not allow Iranian entrenchment in Syria after the IDF said Israel conducted airstrikes there against Iranian-linked targets. The strikes are a message to Iran about its role in Syria. 

However, the reality in Syria is that Iran’s role and its entrenchment have not diminished. The IDF released some images of sites struck in Syria, showing the precision involved in hitting Iranian-linked targets. Online commentators such as the Aurora Intel Twitter feed noted that strikes had hit areas like the “Glass House” at Damascus International Airport. The same site has been struck in the past. READ MOR