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Israel-Syria conflict

Context

Israel recently launched retaliatory rockets after Syria fired three rockets in its direction.

What is the Cause of the Current Dispute Between the Two?

  • Since an ultra-nationalist administration took office in Israel, Israel and its surrounding nations have been volatile. This has worried Israel's neighbours.
  • Following Israel's recent raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a flurry of rocket attacks was launched from Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip.
  • Israel is concerned that its arch-rival Iran is using the protracted conflict in Syria to position troops and weaponry close to its borders.
  • Israel has been conducting airstrikes in Syria over the past few weeks, hitting both targets with ties to Iran and infrastructure, such as the airports in Aleppo and Damascus.
  • As a result of the numerous individuals and conflicting interests at play, the situation in the area is complicated and unstable.
  • Millions of people have been displaced due to the continuous hostilities, and countless lives have been lost.
  • Although the world community has urged restraint and a peaceful end to the crises, the atmosphere is still tense and unclear.

How long has Israel and Syria's conflict lasted?

1967 Six-Day War:

  • The Six-Day War in 1967, in which Israel defeated Syria and took control of the Golan Heights, which it has since occupied, is the origin of the conflict between Israel and Syria.
  • A commanding military vantage point, the Golan Heights' verdant plateau offers a view of Israel and Syria.
  • During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Syrian forces attempted to retake the region but were unsuccessful. Despite a 1974 cease-fire deal, Israel still occupies most of the Golan Heights.
  • Egypt and Syria started the fourth Arab-Israeli conflict, often known as the October War, on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.
  • In order to defend their respective friends, the war ultimately led to indirect conflict between the US and the former USSR.

The Golan Heights Law of Israel:

  • Israel effectively annexed the region by passing the Golan Heights Legislation in 1981, extending its "rules, jurisdiction, and administration" there.
  • According to a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution, the occupied Syrian Golan Heights were subject to Israeli law, which deemed it "null and void and without international legal effect."
  • The situation on the ground has not changed, but it has been more than 40 years since significant confrontations along the frontier.
  • Israel and Syria tried to negotiate a settlement in 2000 but were unsuccessful.

The civil war in Syria:

  • Once the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, the long-running conflict between Israel and Syria became more violent.
  • Iran, which opposes Israel's right to exist, has emerged as a major role in the conflict and has supported the Syrian President's administration with fighters, money, and weapons.
  • As a result, during the battle in Syria, rockets occasionally "errant fire" in Israel.

Tactical Attacks in Syria:

  • Although it denies it, Israel has been charged with conducting targeted attacks in Syria in recent years.
  • Yet, the new wave of attacks has sparked worries about a violent escalation, further destabilizing the already unstable region.

What role does India play in the conflict?

  • India continues to take a neutral stance on the Syrian-Israeli issue and has urged all sides to display caution and work out a peaceful diplomatic solution to their differences.
  • India has continuously backed Syria's territorial integrity and sovereignty and demanded an end to outside meddling in its domestic affairs.

Conflict's effects on India include:

  • India may be affected by the conflict between Israel and Syria, particularly in terms of energy security.
  • Since Syria and other countries in the Middle East provide a considerable portion of India's oil imports, any disruption in the oil supply chain might have a major effect on the Indian economy.
  • Due to the potential for extremist groups in the area to take advantage of the conflict to pursue their agendas, it may also have security ramifications for India.
  • Given the sizable Muslim population in India, any escalation of the conflict may fuel sectarian strife there.

The Future Perspectives:

  • Internationally, the Syrian crisis is viewed as a proxy fight between powerful nations like the US, Russia, and Iran, each supporting a different side. There is still no apparent solution to Syria's complex and unsettled situation.
  • It demands a thorough strategy that addresses the conflict's underlying issues and considers the worries and interests of all sides.
  • Pursuing a peaceful resolution to the dispute through diplomatic means is one potential path forward.
  • Engagement with all parties concerned, including Israel, Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and other regional and international actors, may be necessary to achieve this.
  • A different strategy might involve regional collaboration and dialogue, which could assist in fostering mutual trust and confidence between the parties and ease regional tensions.
  • A good illustration of such collaboration and communication is the recently ratified Abraham Accords between Israel and various Arab states.

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